It was an Autumn morning in 1989 and I was late for class. My roommate and I were also late on paying rent and promised the landlord we would render it first thing that morning. The rental office sat next to the swimming pool, which was covered with a plastic tarp for winter. Stressed because I was running late, I ran to the office door only to see a sign that said they would be back in fifteen minutes. The office door was locked and there was no place for me to leave our rent check. I was frustrated and plopped down in one of the lawn chairs next to the pool. On two different occasions I started to get up and leave, feeling torn between the urgency to make it to class and the agreement to pay the rent. Each time I felt compelled to stay and sat back down. I was agitated and growing evermore impatient. Yet something tugged at me to stay put. A few minutes later a little blonde headed boy wandered into the pool area. He was about four years old and was bouncing a yellow tennis ball on the ground and chasing after it. I nodded a brief hello as he passed by my chair. The next sound was a splash, as the yellow ball had bounced off the pavement and onto the top of the tarp, which was covered in dirty rain water and leaves. I saw the little boy bend over, trying to reach the ball. Before I could offer to help he slid onto the top of the tarp, face down in the water. His arms and legs flailed as he tried to lift his body up…but the tarp was too slimy and slippery. I ran to where he was and lay on my stomach, inching my way out as far as I could. I was just barely able to reach the heel of his left shoe. I pulled him to the edge and lifted him up off the tarp. His eyes were wide with fear and he coughed and spit all over both of us. The tennis ball was still gripped in his white-knuckled fist. I told him he was okay and asked where his mommy was. He pointed to the apartment building behind the pool. I told him to go straight home and tell his mommy what happened. Then I watched as he ran as fast as he could across the grass and into the building.
I stayed on my knees for a few moments, trembling and thanking God for keeping me at the pool, and using me to pull that little boy to safety. I often wonder if I was there for the purpose of rescuing the little boy or he was there for the purpose of rescuing me from a dried up faith? Perhaps we were there in that precise moment to rescue each other. I don't know. But I do know that God kept me in that lawn chair for the purpose of having that encounter with the little boy… and I know it wasn't because I had some special ability to help him… but rather I had availability. Sometimes I think God doesn't expect a lot from us…sometimes all we have to do is just show up and trust Him.
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S.R.Claridge writes Mystery and Romantic Suspense novels. Her work has been said to have the energy of Dan Brown, the mystery of Mary Higgins Clark and the humor of Janet Evanovich. Claridge novels will take you to the edge of your seat, keep you guessing until the very end and ultimately warm your heart. It is on the pages of every S.R.Claridge novel that Mystery and Sensual Suspense collide.
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