Oh, no! Not company!" I
groaned, the moment my car rounded the corner and our
house came into full view. Usually I'd be
thrilled to see four cars lined up in our
driveway, but after I spent a weeklong vigil at the
hospital with an ill child, my house was a colossal
mess. Turning off the car engine, I dragged myself to
the front door.
"What are you doing home so
soon?" my friend Judie called from the kitchen. "We
weren't expecting you for another hour! We thought we'd
be long gone before you got home." She walked toward me
and gave me a hug, then asked softly, "How are you
Was this my house? Was I
dreaming? Everything looked so clean. Where did these
flowers come from?
Suddenly more voices, more
hugs. Lorraine, smiling and wiping beads of perspiration
from her forehead, came up from the family room where
she had just finished ironing a mountain of clean
clothes. Regina peeked into the kitchen, having finished
vacuuming rugs and polishing and dusting furniture in
every room in the house. Joan, still upstairs wrestling
with the boys' bunk-bed sheets, called down her "Hello,"
having already brought order out of chaos in all four
"When did you guys get here?"
was my last coherent sentence. My tears came in great
heaving waves. "How come . . . how come . . . you did
all this?" I cried unashamedly, every ounce of
I had spent the week praying
through a health crisis, begging God for a sense of his
presence at the hospital. Instead, he laid a mantle of
order, beauty and loving care into our home through
these four "angels."
"You rest a while, Virelle,"
Lorraine said firmly. "Here's your dinner for
tonight—there are more meals in the freezer." The table
was set with flowers and fancy napkins, and a little
gift was at my place. A small banquet was arranged,
complete with salad and dessert.
"Don't you worry; we're all
praying," my friends said. "God has everything under
After my friends left, I
wandered from room to room, still sobbing from the
enormity of their gift of time and work. I found
beautiful floral arrangements in every room . . . and
little wrapped gifts on each bed. More
In the living room I found a
note under a vase filled with peonies. I was to have
come home and found it as their only identity: "The Love
Squad was here."
And I knew that God had
everything under control.
© Chicken Soup for the Soul