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!