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Someone's Outside, Mommy

    Monica Stonebraker of Zionsville, Indiana was excited when she and her husband found a townhouse to rent. Lots of potential---but it needed some cleaning before the couple could move in. Monica got busy right away, and was scraping wallpaper off the second floor bedroom one day when her sister-in-law, Connie, stopped by to bring some lunch. Connie also brought two of her children, Jimmy, age 3, and eighteen-month-old Noah.

    After lunch, Connie decided to stay and help with the work. �We closed doors to rooms with anything hazardous inside,� Monica says. �Since it was a nice day, the screened bedroom window was open, so Connie pulled a large portable stereo in front of it.�

    The boys played well together, dancing to music from the stereo and staying in the middle of the floor, away from the wet walls. At one point Jimmy looked up. �There�s someone at the door,� he said. Both women peered out of the second floor window, which overlooked a little deck and courtyard. Monica called down, but no one answered, and no one was in view. She resumed her work. A few minutes later, Jimmy repeated the message. �Someone�s outside.�

    The women looked at each other. Was a prowler sneaking around downstairs, trying to get in? Connie went down to check. She looked outside, then locked the doors just in case, and came back upstairs. �There wasn�t anyone there, Jimmy,� she told her three-year-old. But he was not satisfied. Several more time he pointed towards the window to the deck below, and insisted that someone was there.

    �Are you teasing us, Jimmy?� Monica asked, but she already knew he wasn�t. When Jimmy teased, he always laughed. But now he seemed confused, even frustrated that no one would believe him. Monica went back to scraping, while Connie went into the bathroom.

    Just as Connie re-entered the bedroom, Noah climbed up onto the stereo. �Noah, stop!� Connie cried, racing across the room to him. But he had already reached the screen, and as he leaned on it, it gave way. The toddler plunged through the open window to the deck below.

    Screaming, Connie raced down the stairs while Monica shakily dialed 911. Moments later, Connie ran back into the bedroom, and grabbed the phone. �I�ll give them directions--you�ve had some first aid�-you look at Noah!� she cried. Monica wasn�t going to argue.

    �Noah was lying on the deck halfway on his stomach, and halfway on his left side,� Monica recalls. �He wasn�t moving, but I could hear him crying softly.� Did he have a broken neck or back, a concussion, broken shoulder or internal injuries? �I don�t remember ever praying so hard for anything in my life,� Monica says. �I asked Noah�s guardian angel to be with him, and help him to be brave, and protect him through whatever lay ahead.� Jimmy came out, looking a little dazed, and sat beside Noah, folding his hands in prayer while Monica carefully began to assess Noah�s injuries. No visible blood, movement in all limbs�these were hopeful signs, she realized. But of course, the impact had been hard, and who knew what the hospital tests would reveal? She could hear the paramedic sirens, and she again asked God and His angels to be near.

    The paramedics arrived, and carefully rolled Noah over to put a neck brace on him. Odd, Monica thought. The deck was covered in bits of shingle grains that roll off the roof---her hands had little pieces of them stuck all over since she�d leaned on the deck to help Noah. But there wasn�t anything on Noah�s face, not a cut or scratch or bruise, not even the shingle bits. As if he had been shielded�

    Connie jumped into the van and it sped away. Monica looked down at Jimmy. �Don�t worry, Aunt Monica,� Jimmy said with the utmost confidence. �Noah�s going to be fine.�

    �I hope so, honey,� Monica murmured.

    Jimmy simply patted her. He had no doubt.

    Just a few hours later. Noah came home, suffering from only a small scrape on his left arm. The scans had shown no physical damage, nor did he have any emotional reaction to what had happened; he was his usual happy self. The extended family, now gathered to give thanks, looked at each other. How could this be? How had this vulnerable toddler escaped serious injury?

    Jimmy had the answer. �Someone caught Noah,� he said quietly. �Someone outside.�

    Tingles went up Monica�s spine. She thought of the day, of Jimmy�s constant insistence that someone was outside, someone that none of them could see. But now she understood. Noah�s angel had been there to break his fall---and Jimmy had seen him waiting.

    �Jimmy is not the type to make up such a thing,� Monica says today. �Nor had any of us mentioned angels.� But she believes that God performs miracles for us all on a daily basis. And she will never forget this one.

    � 2003 by Joan Wester Anderson

    For more stories of God's love, visit the website at:www.joanwanderson.com