Last night, our doorbell rings at 10:00 PM. On our front porch, a woman in a gray sweater, sweat pants, and flip flops stands shivering. We open the door, and she immediately apologizes.
"I'm so sorry to bother you," she says. "I'm house sitting for my parents while they travel. I went into the garage to get something and the door to the house closed and locked behind me! I'm locked out of my house!"
We invite this stranger into the warm living room. Sitting by our Christmas tree, we call the locksmith. But the locksmith can't verify her identity, so we have to call the police to meet this woman at her own parent's house to unlock the doors. She waits on the couch until all the right folks arrive in her driveway to help her.
Meanwhile, I have no choice but to offer a beverage and make conversation. I'm in my pajamas, and I sit cross-legged on the couch.
We sit there, staring at one another. I start to ask questions.
I discover wonderful things. I hear about a screenplay she's writing, a novel she's selling, and her life in New York. I learn about her theories of dating. I learn about her degree in linguistics. I learn about her sister on the West Coast.
This stranger in flip flops is funny, vibrant, and kind. I start to really like her. I start to want to be her life long friend.
When it's all over, I give her a huge hug like we've been friends forever.
She's coming back today to leave her card.
Friendship can enter your life at any time. A stranger locked out of her house, shivering on your doorstep, might just become a dear friend. You never know.
We could have turned her away. We could have hidden in the bedroom and not even answered the door.
But we didn't.