Irony of Fear

Minutes before my first evening worship as girls’  dean at a Southern Oregon academy, Richard,the girls and I drove 10 miles to a local general store for a few sundries when a female ran screaming into the tiny store.  “My husband’s trying to kill me.  He’s got a gun!”  Outside a pickup truck screeched to a stop by the gas pumps.  A bullet zinged through the plate glass window.  The shooter, rifle in hand, jumped from the cab.

Instantly Richard and I grabbed our daughters’ hands and ran to the rear of the store where we cowered behind an aisle of canned goods, along with the store clerk.  The sobbing woman did the same.  Her gun-toting husband crashed through the door, shouting, “Where is my wife?  I know she’s here.  Where is she?”

Before anyone could react, a second pick-up truck screeched to a halt behind the first.  The gunman’s brother leaped from the vehicle and dashed into the store, shouting, “Put the gun down!  You don’t want to do this, bro.”

The irony of the tale is, my husband, who was born and raised in New York City, a place known for such violence had never before witnessed a gun battle.  But here we were in a remote valley of Southern Oregon, in very real danger of being shot, accidentally or otherwise.

Spotting the store’s rear door, Richard rushed me and the girls out where we hovered behind garbage barrels as my husband sneaked around the outside of the store and retrieved our car, giving us a clean escape.

Last night when I heard on the local news of 2 men being shot in our town mall where I do most of my shopping, I recalled the earlier event.  Understand, we don’t live in LA or San Francisco.  We live in a Central California farming community where neighbors wave to one another as they drive by and chat when retrieving their mail at the mail boxes.  A favorite text also came to mind.  “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God… I am the Lord, your God who takes hold of your right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10, 13.  NIV

“Thanks Daddy for being my own personal Security Guard, “armed and dangerous,” at least, dangerous to the bad guys.”



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