All the leaves in County Meath seemed to have congregated on our front lawn. So one evening my husband and I, and our four children aged between nine and four set to raking them up. We ended up with twelve huge piles of leaves all over the front and back garden. It was getting dark, and we resolved to tackle stage two – getting the leaves into the ditch the next day after work. Fortunately there was no wind, but in Ireland it is never calm for long.
My husband rang me at work the next day. Our friend’s car had broken down, and he had valiantly offered to go and try and get it started. My heart sank. What about the leaves? My initial reaction was anger with him for offering to help our friend, and leaving me in the lurch, but then somehow I overcame this feeling. It was good to help our friend – I would manage somehow. I braced myself for a long evening of shifting leaves in the garden.
I picked the kids up from school. On the way home, I told them that today we would forget about homework when we got home and get straight into our wellies to start putting the leaves in the ditch. My four year old son was delighted. I was not. I was feeling so tired and the thought of lifting the leaves was like a nightmare. Driving the five mile drive home, I silently prayed. “I know you said ‘Ask and it will be given,” and I don’t see how you can work this miracle, but I’m asking you for a miracle – to move the leaves.”
We arrived home. As soon as I drove in I noticed something different. The leaves were gone. I thought I was seeing things. “The leaves were on the lawn this morning weren’t they?” I asked my eldest daughter. She nodded silently. She too was dumbstruck. There was not a sign of a leaf – the miracle had happened. We ran around the back, no leaves there either. Could my husband have come home from work during the day? I rang him. He thought I was pulling his leg. “Yeah, yeah, the leaves are gone – pull the other one.” But I soon convinced him.
Later we discovered that his parents had called unexpectedly, and had decided to do the good deed. For me it was a confirmation that God can indeed work miracles if we have the simplicity to ask.