Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.—ROMANS 12:10 [NIV]
The heat of her house? Stifling. The dust? Impenetrable. The creaking and groaning of floors? A tuba out of tune. The odor? Appalling. The mountains of stuff? Non-negotiable.
I took a deep breath, braced myself and tapped on her front door. “It’s me, Miss Mabel!” I called out.
“C’mon in!” she said.
I gently opened the door and maneuvered my way through the dangerous pathway she’d carved over the years. One slight step off the narrow track would doubtless initiate a tumbling of boxes, figurines, newspapers, clothes and bottles. Still, I smiled as I sat down by her bed. “How are you today?”
“I’m fit as a fiddle. You?”
“Busy as a bee on a hive.”
We laughed at our oft-repeated exchange. “Need me to do anything for you today, Miss M? Dishes? Laundry?”
“Why, yes. Let’s snap those beans,” she said, pointing to a bag of freshly picked half-runners.
And for an hour we broke beans. Our lively conversation took as many turns as the snapping turns of our fingers.
When I left, I took a long, deep breath of fresh air, and yet my heart beat full to overflowing from the blessing of passing time with Miss Mabel, the condition of her house notwithstanding.