I stuffed green beans into the hot jars as the sky grew black. I had just picked those beans, squinting into the over-bright sky through the dense leaves, my eyes trying to sift through the shapes and find the edible ones, long and slender. Now the sky was breaking wide open and cracking whips of electricity, and the rain came down as though poured from a bucket.
It was in the middle of prayer, there laying on my side in bed, all peace and petition, that a rank fear latched onto me. Like a black blanket being lowered over me, a malignant presence, but this has happened enough times before, and there is always a remedy: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” The darkness pulled away, but my heart was still disturbed. I padded across the hallway to check on Henrik. He was running a low fever, and had refused supper, and sometimes a mother just has to lay her hand on that little belly and feel the life there.
Returning to bed Dustin was awake and wide-eyed. He’d had a terrifying dream, gunshots firing and his heart was pounding to beat the band. He’d had his nightmare at the same time I had experienced that dark fear. We wondered about that as we lay in the moonlight. We prayed.
It can all come out of nowhere.
One minute sun and clear skies, the next torrents of rain and lighting crashing. One minute peace, the next a spiritual attack. In both, there is within this thanksgiving for shelter, for protection. A sense of being held.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
As the horrors of the Planned Parenthood videos have rocked the nation, I pray for a bit of blindsidedness, a bit of out-of-nowhere, caught-off-guard reality checks for our convenience-worshipping society. I pray that those who were comfortable in their distance and apathy will be rattled to the core, blind no more. I pray that there will be no shelter in their excuses, their rationalizations, their loyalty to the sexual revolution’s mantra of sex without consequence. And I pray that they will say, “I knew it not, but now I do, and can no longer abide it”. And I pray for God’s mercy upon them and for shelter true and good, the Father and His startling, strong love.