Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Under the Cover of Night

This morning I was reading and I came across a verse I would normally not think twice about, but due to recent circumstances, it struck me as quite profound. The verse is from Psalm 11 and it says “For, behold, the wicked bend the bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string to shoot in darkness at the upright in heart.” In order for this to make sense or seem even remotely relevant, let me back up and describe the “incident” Nathan and Marianna had a few days ago.

At about nine o’clock on Thursday night, Nathan and Marianna were driving home when all of the sudden Nathan heard a crash and looked in his rear-view mirror in time to see what he at first thought was Marianna throwing her milk out the window. He quickly realized that instead of white liquid particles flying through the air, what he was actually seeing was the glass from her window shattering to pieces. He immediately pulled over to make sure she was okay (I was on the phone with him at the time, and I could her crying “Daddy, what happened?” over and over again), and he found that she was virtually covered in the glass from her window, but fortunately the weather had just turned cold enough to require pants and a turtle neck, so the only exposed areas were her face and ankles. The glass itself is the kind that does not shatter into nasty shards, but rather just kind of crumbles, so other than a few small scratches and a bloody nose, she was in fine physical shape. The emotional scare took a little longer to wear off. She gave a very dramatic rendition of the event at least 10 times once she was home and safe in her pajamas. What was even more humourous to us was that she began mixing in details from a traumatic play ground experience she had a few weeks ago at Chick-fil-a where a little boy “pulled her piggies!” (meaning her pig tails) and grabbed her by the neck. By the end of the night Thursday her story went something like “The glass came in on me, and then, and then, and then the little boy pulled my piggies!” She sounds like a case study in the making for some early-childhood psychologist =).

Anyway, after examining his car, Nathan decided that he had probably been the target of some renegade rock throwers. In addition to the missing window, the car also suffered a very large dent directly above the window on the door jam, which indicated that something much larger than a pebble was being tossed. We thanked God everyone was safe, and figured that was that. But then yesterday my mom forwarded me a crime report that someone in her neighborhood provides on a regular basis. In the incident report, a situation almost identical to Nathan’s was described as happening in the exact same spot only 10 minutes prior to when Nathan was hit. The only difference was that his man was able to recover a metal ball that had embedded itself in his driver’s side door, and upon taking it to an auto body repair shop, he was able to ascertain that it came from a high powered air rifle. The policeman who took the report told him that if it had been fired at his head it could have proved fatal. All of the sudden we realized that instead of some little rock throwers, we were looking at an amateur sniper who was waiting for the cover of night to hide behind the shrubs on a very dark road and take shots at the innocent and unassuming passersby.

Nathan has since filed a police report himself, and he has even been contacted by the local news to see if he will give an interview. He declined the interview, but we are hoping that the police are able to do a little investigating and quickly nip this in the bud before it turns uglier than it already is. All of that to say, the verse I read this morning had new, if not exactly contextural, meaning for me in light of the “sniper.” But as I kept reading, something else hit me other than the irony of the other night’s shooting. The verses in this chapter are describing people who are ready to run and hide in the mountain because they fear those who wait for darkness to shoot at the upright. In the face of fear, these people had lost their ability to trust in God and were seeking an escape to safety that did not involve His protection. How I sympathized with these people when I read the verses! I thought, “I don’t have a “mountain” to run to because the medical community offers us no hope, but if I did, wouldn’t I want to run to it?” It made me stop and think, if I had options other than complete and total dependence on God, would I take them? That’s a question I honestly can’t answer. The reality is that God is all I have to cling to through this journey. I have no comfort from science, medicine, technology, or anything else the world has to offer. Nothing can help, nothing can predict, and nothing can restore. Only God can give me peace for the unknown ahead and only He can work miracles. Because of this, I am trying every day to simply trust Him. But, what pride and arrogance I would have to look down at others for what I consider to be “lapses in faith,” because I know it is only because I have nothing else that I am able to trust Him with everything. I am grateful to Him for that, and I am also grateful that He protected Nathan and Marianna from any serious injury!


Emmie said...

Dear Ones, I found your blog through Conor and Boothe's, and I want you to know that I am praying for you and your little one. Poppy's a sweet name. I will return to see how you are doing. I'm a grammy, awaiting #13, and a Christian by the grace of our wonderful God. "Pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us."

Laurin said...

Angie, I have chills as I'm reading this post! The Lord's protection is very real in your lives as I reflect on the incident last week with Nathan and Marianna and on your clinging to Him.
Surely He will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day...(Psalm 91)

Jana said...

Nathan & Angie, I'm not sure I can handle any more drama, so PLEASE keep yourselves safe. ;-) it's amazing how you are able to make such perfect sense out of a bible verse that would seem meaningless or unapplicable to so many. the Lord is working a miracle in your lives to show you that He is present in every detail, and I'm so proud of you both for really letting Him take control. . .it's always better when He is in the driver's seat.

Laurie said...

After reading this with chills running down my back, I know He watches over us every moment of every hour. How comforting is that? I am so thankful no one was hurt. I love the way little children relay a traumatic event in their own words with such passion. It is precious to hear them make a casserole out of a carrot.
God was watching over Poppy Joy with the same eyes at the same instant this incident was happening. And He is watching over you and Nathan with all of the unknowns that are to come. You can trust Him and rest in Him, knowing He will never take His watchful eyes off of you. My prayers continue daily for you to have peace and joy in the Lord.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

Emily said...

Wow. The ways the Lord speaks to our hearts and reminds us that it is He who has first loved us, not the other way around, are amazing. I am thankful that your husband and daughter are safe; and I am thankful that you already see what could have taken much longer to discover: only your Lord is qualified to bring healing here. Hold onto that, as you cherish these moments with Poppy. You have no idea what blessings are in store! Know we are lifting you up.

JMom said...

What a crazy occurence. I love your analogy and am so thankful everyone was OK.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that everyone is ok and thankful that God watches out for us ALL the time! Where in Memphis did it happen. Makes me kind of nervous to get out after dark!

Devin said...

You and your loved ones are protected by Him. Thank goodness no one was hurt more. I am praying for you and will continue to do so.

tn_lizzie2000 said...

Wow! Poor Marianna! I suspect that she now has a clear picture of how God is watching out for her. This may preach to her later...

I was struck by the date and the Psalm: both 11.

Verse 3 asks what the righteous can do if the foundations are destroyed. The remaining verses give the LORD'S name 4 times.

Verse 7 says "For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face."

I am proud of you for looking at last Thursday night and seeing the face of God. Your precious daughters are learning about Jesus through you and Nathan. You cannot run and hide, and so you walk. One day at a time, you walk - knowing that the One who is knitting Poppy Joy doesn't make mistakes.

Perhaps Nathan could get a 4.5mm Diameter Metal Ball Bearing (Google showed this as Air Rifle ammo) made into a necklace for Marianna?

\O/ Praise God for protection! \O/

kim said...

Nathan, Angie, & Marianna, I was roommates with Boothe in college, and I providentially wandered onto your blog through theirs.:) I am blown away by your solid faith that is so grounded in Scripture! May the Lord be ever so merciful to you for your steadfast hope and dependency on Him. It is so convicting and encouraging to read your posts. Poppy Joy is such a beautiful name! It sounds so happy...and well..joyful! Her picture is beautiful, too, and how exciting that she is growing and doing well. I know we will probably never meet, but I wanted to tell you that you have impacted our family through your testimony. Thank you for sharing your story. The incident involving the air rifle & the verse you reflected on reminded me of this...
Psalm 121
"I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you— the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."
~Kim, John Calvin, Izalou & Asa Morecraft

LizardTales said...

God is a big God who takes care of his children. thankyou for sharing your heart. I met you the other day at the funeral.
Here is my blog site:
hope you can visit sometime!
Liz Gallina

Albany said...

Dear Angie and Nathan, God WILL give you the strength you need throughout this journey. You are in our thoughts and prayers daily.
Albany and Blake

Roderick said...

N&A: Some years back "something" hit my car while I was driving along I-10 here one night. I heard a loud thump, and a few seconds later my front windshield was full of "cobwebs"! I never did know what hit my car, but at the time I just shrugged it off, assuming that I hit a bird or something. I had not yet heard of attacks on cars here at the time so I didn't think to call the police, which I would do today. I might have done so if I had a child in the car with me, though. Anyway, I know how scary that experience must have been for you. I appreciate your godly perspective on this matter, and I'm so thankful for it and that N&M are OK. You both write so beautifully and offer so much inspiration to so many, including me. Keep sharing your faith! Love to all!

Anonymous said...

Prayers are being lifted for your family...as you make your journey, God's many precious promises will not fail you...lean on Him.

Rudy Coscia said...

Hey man it's Rudy Coscia. I had the chance to hang out with David and Laura the other night while they were passing through Sacramento. It was really great to see them. He told me about what you guys were dealing with and about this page. I wanted to stop by and say hello and that I would keep you guys in my prayers. I have two really close friends that had a little girl with Trisomy 18 about 2 years ago. They are an incredible couple, very strong Christians. She of course carried her to full term. They had a service for her when she passed away. And something happened that showed how God always has His hand in everything. Her husband is an army ranger and he was just getting back from Iraq for the third time, actually the majority of the time she was pregnant he was in Iraq. He was in charge of a whole platoon of men, and they all respected him greatly, so many of them came to the funeral service for their daughter. At that service five of the guys gave their lives to Christ. I know that they were impacted because of the amazing example they led as they carried this precious burden that God had intrusted to them. I wanted to share this with you because I know God has intrusted you and Angie with the same, and I know your lives will reflect the same influence to others and that something beautiful will come out of something so difficult. Take care, and i will keep you guys in my prayers. I would love to get together with you, Aaron and David sometime when i am in town. Take care buddy. --Rudy Coscia