Friday night, our children were just getting ready for bed, and I heard banging on the door. I checked the keyhole, and two strangers were at the door. But I felt a nudge to open it anyway.
It was a woman who had been kicked out of her home across the street four years ago.
This woman had been through the darkest of times. A single mother since age 16, she was raising two children alone and had rented a home. She had just lost her job, and had sent her entire tax refund to her landlord to pay ahead on her rent. Unbeknownst to her, the landlord hadn't been paying his bills, either, and she was evicted by the sheriff.
Tonight, though, it wasn't a night to troubleshoot problems. It was a time to celebrate success.
Despite all the many challenges she had faced - many of which I won't even share here - we saw a light in her. A goodness. And so much potential not yet even tapped. We were her village as she tried to raise two children. And we hated she disappeared.
But something happened along the way. One neighbor's quiet gift helped her with tuition to nursing school - and she's set to graduate soon. And she's making plans to return to our neighborhood, this time as a homeowner.
Sometimes, there is a happily ever after.