I could tell the voice on the other end of the phone was borderline illiterate, but her sincerity spoke volumes of knowledge. The phone caller haltingly explained she searched in the phone book for someone to call to help her. She found my number under the heading of Christian Science Practitioner, and asked, “Am I the…” however she couldn’t sound out or articulate the word, practitioner.
I answered, “Yes.”
I could hear a baby crying in the background. I asked, How can I help?
“I am watching my friend’s baby and the baby won’t quit crying,” she exclaimed.
“Where are you?” I enquired. After she gave me directions, I realized I could get to her in about 12 minutes and asked her if she’d like me to come.
“Yes,” she replied.
The location was a motel in the seedy part of town. I walked through loud noise, bars, smells, litter. I heard the crying baby and found the room number. I knocked on the door and a frightened cautious woman answered and let me in. I went to pick up the baby and held him in my arms, praying. There was no condemnation. No probing as to how the woman treated the baby. No wondering how it was to live in a motel room. No urge to try to educate. Fact was, the child was not ours and the mother was to return soon and we wanted the mother to come home to a happy baby.
The woman and I did not talk. I could feel a timid spiritual strength peeking out from under a history of misfortunes. We were two women who knew it was very important to work together for the child’s peace. The spiritual strength grew and a powerful love filled the room.
The baby quieted down within 10 minutes. His body relaxed. I changed his diaper and talked to him gently. He let me hold him until his mother came home. I went back to my office. The need was met. There was no temptation to push for more.