Open to Jesus’ Knock on our Door – Sr. Patricia Posekany, ND

There are times in our lives we never know when Jesus will come knocking at our door. This happened one night after the evening meal. I received a phone call from Mary, a co-worker. It was a desperate call. She told me that she and her five children, ages 6 to 12 left their house because her husband was drinking. She was scared and needed a place to spend the night. She had gone to her mother’s house in Council Bluffs, but her mom wasn’t able to take them in. That was when she said, “I knew I could call you for help.” Without any hesitation, I said, “Where are you, we’ll come pick you up.” I asked another sister to come with me. We were to meet them near the Missouri River Bridge. It was so sad to see them standing there with only a few belongings. The children looked so frightened and scared and Mary was so concerned to find a place for the night.

This was at the time that Notre Dame Academy and boarding school were no longer operating. There were empty dorms with beds and supplies that would easily accommodate the family. I was so grateful we had this space to offer them. That night I had no idea how long they would need shelter. I just knew it was important for them to have a place to stay for the night.

The next morning Mary and I had to go to work. We both worked at the same nursing home. This being summer time, meant that the children would need to be watched throughout the day. I arranged to have one of the older sisters watch the youngsters. Needless to say, this was quite a challenging task. Five children between ages 6 to 12 had boundless energy, were on the lookout for adventure and explored all around the grounds and building. Luckily the grounds around the convent were large and provided space to run, jump and play. This routine lasted for about two and a half weeks. Then, one Sunday morning I heard talking outside my window. I knew it was the family leaving for home.

Over the years, Mary and I kept in touch by phone. Several years ago she had a massive heart attack. I was able to attend her funeral and reconnect with some of the children. They were a dear and special family to me.

As I reflect on this experience I am surprised I had the courage to respond the way I did. I realized that God was right there beside me giving me what I needed in this situation. The family was in need and I was called to respond. God has surprising ways of working in our lives. I was also very grateful to the community members who willingly and eagerly helped with caring for the family. That is a special blessing of community.

I’ve come to realize there are times in our lives when we least expect it that Jesus comes knocking on our doors, on our hearts seeking a response of love and care. We will be blessed with the grace and courage to do what needs to be done as long as we live with the desire and openness to be God’s caring presence to others.