Gently Rapping At
My Chamber Door
“Things like this just don’t happen”
By Harriett Ford from an interview with Phillip Wells, of Wichita, Kansas
Behold I stand at the door and knock, Rev. 3:20
Once upon a midnight dreary, much like the night Edgar Allen Poe described in his famous poem The Raven, a desperate man pondered, also weak and weary, little knowing that what happened next would change his life.
Large rough hands covered his face in the darkened kitchen. Feelings of helplessness, desperation, and rage engulfed him.
His wife Ann had recently suffered a stroke and he’d had to quit his driver’s job in order to care for her. Doctors did not expect her to recover and is so, she would probably not walk again. Major medical bills piled up into a mountain of debt. Could things get any worse? Sadly, Max Rhoads, of Wichita, Kansas believed the situation was largely due to his failure to walk with God.
It seemed painfully easy to see and even more painful to admit. He remembered turning his back on the blessings of God, saying in his heart, “If this is Christianity and these people are Christians, I want nothing to do with them.” He had ignored invitations to return to church, believing himself a still a Christian, but wanting nothing to do with “those hypocrites.”
The mid-November cold crept into the room. Electricity, heat, and water had been turned off as well as the telephone, due to unpaid bills. A cold mid-west winter would soon arrive on the winds sweeping across Kansas plains. The cabinets were bare, the bank account empty.
“What do I do now God? I need help that only You can deliver. There’s nothing I can do, and no where else I can go.” In the dark, cold, empty kitchen. For the first time in years, Max felt the need to pray, even though he thought God had no reason to listen.
Edgar Allen Poe described hearing someone gently rapping at his chamber door. Max heard a rather timid knock.
“Whoever this is, it can’t be good. I’ll ignore it.” He remained at the table, his face buried in his hands.
More knocking, louder and more persistent. Again, he convinced himself the visitor couldn’t be making a pleasant call.
The knocking grew more insistent. Max got up and peeked around a curtain. He saw two neatly dressed young men, neither of whom he recognized. Opening the door, Max said, “Whatever you’re selling, you may as well go somewhere else. I don’t have the money to buy anything even if I wanted to.”
“We’re not selling anything,” the young men explained. “Are you Max Rhoads?” They verified his name and address.
“What do you want, and why have you come here?” Max demanded.
“We were asked to come here.”
Mystified, Max asked again, “Who asked you to come?”
“The church a few blocks over has collected some goods for you.” They nodded to the right. “We have them in the truck.” Both men went to a truck parked on the street and returned carrying large shopping bags filled with groceries. They four more trips, each time returning with sacks brimming with food and other necessities.
Never had Max seen so much food. Only moments before, he had cried out to God in desperation. Could his prayer have been answered so quickly? Overwhelmed with gratitude, he wept tears of joy.
As the young men turned to leave, one of them handed an envelop to Max. “Mr. Rhoads, the church also sent this to you.”
After the door closed on his mysterious visitors, Max reasoned, This must be a dream. Things like this just don’t happen. However the groceries sat there in heaps. The envelope in his hand was real. He opened it to find over four hundred dollars.
Stunned by the immediate blessing, he continued to sit in the dark, not knowing what to do. Moments later, a second knock at the door roused him. “They must have made a mistake and delivered this to the wrong address,” he muttered. “They’re coming to take it all back. Oh that is too cruel!”
A different pair of men stood at his door and verified that they were at the correct address. “We’re from a church over there.” They pointed in the opposite direction from where the previous two had indicated their church’s location. “We’ve been sent here to deliver some things to you.”
The men proceeded to make trip after trip to their truck, bringing back even more groceries and supplies. Max stared in amazement as the supplies kept coming until the counter had no room to hold a single item more.
Just as before, one of the mysterious men handed Max and envelope from “the church.” They left him standing amazed and in a state mild shock.
He opened the second envelope to find over nine hundred dollars.
Max remembered the inspirational words from Psalm 51:17, “a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” He understood at once that God had not forgotten him. There was no other explanation for these bountiful supplies.
Monday morning, Max paid the bills. With his utilities restored, he had over six hundred dollars left in his pocket.
After that experience, Max Rhoads became known as a faithful member at a church in the city of Wichita. Pastor Curtis Gordon described him as a man with a heart after God who loved Jesus and loved to talk about him.
Years later, Pastor Gordon presided at Max’s funeral and said that before his death, Max indicated that he saw the Lord, perhaps welcoming him through an open door.
About the author: Harriett Ford is a reporter, professional writer, author of numerous devotional and inspirational articles, and stories. Her book, If God Wants Me Well, Why Am I Sick? is a best seller at The Copper Coin inspirational gift shop in Branson, MO. The above story is to be released in a collection of true stories showing how God intervenes to change the natural outcome in unexpected ways.
*If you enjoyed this story by Harriett and would like to read more of her articles, please visit her blog page at http://www.harriettford.blogspot.com/
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Harriett!