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You Never Know Who Is Standing in Front of You

I just had an amazing exchange with the exterminator. He’s in his late 70s, a little old Spanish man. I was sitting in my kitchen as he began to walk around and spray. Silence surrounded us. He came out and told me he lost his son a few months back. My heart skipped a beat. I asked what helps him through each day? He said, “Faith in God,” and added that the most important things in life are your family – everything else comes after. Money helps but doesn’t make you happy. He said, “Have strength in your heart, but not the usual heart – your spiritual heart – and it will take you through what you need, and you’ll find the strength inside.” It was as if he knew what’s been going on with me and was bestowing upon me his experience with loss and how his faith has served him. He was not telling me what to do or how I should do it. There was no proselytizing at all. There was just his broken, open heart reaching into mine in a simple and compassionate way. I began to cry in front of my exterminator, the remover of pests, a man with whom I haven’t exchanged many words at all over the years he’s come into my home. But today his knowledge of suffering fused with mine, and I was gifted by this offering. It seems that saints appear in unlikely places and clothing. Sometimes, they’re clearing the pests in your home – literally, and also in your heart.

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