Last Thursday my hubby and I started a project that we both dreaded, but needed to be done. For three seasons we've tried to grow grass in a section of our front lawn, but failed every time. Finally I told him we should dig up all the grass clumps, take the soil out until we hit clay, and then replace the area with stone which would provide additional parking space when family comes to visit.
Since we are both way over the hill, thinking about pushing wheelbarrows heaped with heavy dirt up our steep front grade, and then up an even steeper back hill to reach our compost box was daunting to say the least. After only two tries we were ready to call it a day!
Then down the road came 'ST. MICHAEL' in his shiny white SUV. Actually it was our neighbor, Rob, the police officer, who stopped to ask what we were doing. I call Rob, St. Michael, because he has an image of the archangel tattooed on his left bicep. I told him about our project, and of course, he admonished me for making my hubby do such strenuous labor, and laughed when I said that I was also doing strenuous labor.
Ten minutes later, Rob was pushing his over-sized wheelbarrow up the street with a pick ax and shovel in it. He began splitting the mounds of soil with the ax, hoisting the dirt into the wheelbarrow, and then rolling the heavy loads to their assigned destination. Even though Rob is a young man, physically fit, the work was difficult. We continued to do what we could, but St. Michael kept insisting that we take a break at every turn. Several times I accompanied Rob up our hills with my smaller load of dirt, but quickly realized my lack of strength as well as my lack of fitness and, of course, my advanced age.
Finally after about three hours, the area was stripped clean, ready to be filled with stone at a later date. With a hug from me, and a handshake from hubby, St. Michael headed back down the road pushing his wheelbarrow complete with pick ax and shovel inside. For an instant I was positive I saw him floating above the ground, but after rubbing my eyes in disbelief, he had already disappeared into his driveway.
My hubby and I believe Rob is truly a saint, he's helped out many of our neighbors without ever being asked to lift a hand. He simply appears, does the job, and then nonchalantly returns home, refusing payment or praise. As a policeman, we know he has pledged to serve and protect, but this man goes way beyond his professional commitment.
Sometimes we're tempted to install a camera in the front of our house so we can catch St. Michael spreading his wings and soaring over the rooftops looking for anybody in need. But giving into temptation is the devil's work, so we'll just have to wait until we're in heaven and actually meet up with this archangel, person to person. I'll give him a big hug and my hubby will shake his hand. He'll give us a wink and a smile like Rob always does, and our suspicions will be verified: St. Michael has lived among us for twenty years doing good works under the earthly name of 'Rob, the police officer'!
We are all indeed blessed to have such a wonderful neighbor and friend.