Her family outgrew their home and recently decided to build something
bigger. After selling their house, they stuffed themselves into a tiny, rented
duplex and eagerly awaited the completion of construction.
In the midst of a full schedule with three kids, a husband in the ministry,
church involvement and a building program, Lisa neglected to meet her
neighbors. She rationalized that the rental house was temporary, and determined
to do better after they moved into their own house.
Lisa's sole neighborhood introduction was an over-the-fence thing with the
big, scruffy fellow next door who was always puttering in his yard in baggy
overalls. His wife spent all her time indoors with their newborn.
Winter was delayed that year but it finally struck with an icy vengeance in
December. Lisa bundled her children off to school the first frosty morning and
then took a few moments to scan the paper over her second cup of coffee.
A horrifyingly graphic article about a home invasion where a woman was
beaten and robbed made her so upset she wept and prayed for the victim and her
Suddenly she heard hurried footsteps on the veranda. The doorbell rang.
Assuming it was her sister freezing in the Arctic blast, she dashed to the door
and flung it open without checking the peephole.
What she saw so shook her that she couldn't focus. A giant stranger,
handsomely dressed and smelling of cologne, filled the doorway. "My car won't
start. Can you give me a boost?" he boomed. Lisa remembered the criminal in the
newspaper had asked to use the phone to gain entrance to his victim's home. She
was sure this crook had watched her husband and children leave moments earlier.
She felt faint.
"I don't have cables!" she gasped, gripping the doorknob.
"I have my own," he said. "I just need your vehicle.
Give me your keys, and I'll go start it." He stepped inside, grinning and
acting strangely familiar.
Convinced she was a goner, Lisa had a flash of brilliance. It just might
work. "Why don't you ask the guy next door. He's a landscaper, but he's always
hanging around the house." Her words tumbled out. "And he's very big!"
She added the last bit as extra insurance.
"That house?" the stranger asked, looking over his shoulder.
"Right there," Lisa pointed, trembling.
"Ask the guy who lives there?" the brute repeated, as though he just didn't
"Yes!" Lisa said emphatically. "I don't know what he does all day but I'm
sure he's home."
"But, Lisa," the monster said. "I am that guy!"
TO "SHINING YOUR LIGHT"
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