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Ann Farabee column: Ring the doorbell

By Ann Farabee

It was early in my COVID journey. Our family was quarantined. We did not ask for help. But others listened to their hearts, as God placed it in their spirit to help us. They began to emerge in our emergency.

The doorbell rang. Food had been delivered to feed our family of five. The next day the doorbell rang again — food had been delivered. And the next day. It continued for two weeks.

They were my friends, family, church members, coworkers, and sometimes people I barely knew. They had been sending thoughts and prayers our way daily, but decided to physically show up to our door to make sure we had what we needed. The doorbell would ring — and home-cooked food, take out meals, and groceries were waiting for us there — on our porch.

It was a time that I truly experienced the concept of someone being the hands and feet of Jesus, for that is exactly what these doorbell ringers were.

Emerge can mean to come into view. Although they would ring the doorbell and get back in their car, they had chosen to emerge to bless our family at our front door during our time of emergency.

I really did not understand it. I could not explain it. Why would they make that sacrifice of time and money for us? It felt surreal. It felt as if God were right there with us each time the doorbell rang, so that we could know that his presence was not just with us in our home, but surrounding us by those outside our home.

My 13-year-old put it in perspective one day as he said, “It used to be that anytime someone came down our street, we knew they were not coming to our house. Now every car that comes down our street is coming to our house.”

Those words helped me to picture it vividly, for I was still isolated in my room. I only heard the ring of the doorbell daily. I never really saw the people, but I knew they had been sent by the father. It was a beautiful thing for my family to witness.

I have done the same for others at times, but not as often as I should have. Until it was done for me, I am not sure I realized the power of compassion. I am not sure I realized the power of love in action. I am not sure I realized the power of food — or an offer of help, or a flower, or a card, or a prayer, or a phone call, or a message, or the knowledge that anyone I know would have gladly emerged in my emergency to be a help to our family.

Friendships sure do matter. True friends can go for extended lengths of time without talking to or physically seeing one another. But in case of an emergency, you sure can count on them to emerge.

What better way than to emerge with food, right? (I am just kidding. Or am I?) That sure was how we felt every time the doorbell rang.

Love in action.

The hands and feet of Jesus.

Serve him. Serve others.

Ring the doorbell.

Lord, when someone needs us, help us to not just be their friend on social media, in the workplace, in the church, or even at the ballgame, but help us be a friend that will emerge in a time of emergency, bringing help and hope to those around us. May we remember to ring the doorbell. Amen.

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at  annfarabee@gmail.com or annfarabee.com .

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