As I pulled into the Hobby Lobby parking lot with my two little girls, just days after the explosions at the Boston Marathon, I saw some strange activity outside the door. There was a rough hillbilly looking sort of man standing there with a lady and he was gesturing to her and then he held up a square block of wood and began gesturing with it with his hands, raising them in the air, and then out to the side. I thought it appeared awfully suspicious so I stayed seated in my car and just watched. Several old ladies hobbled into the store... and the man and the lady continued standing by the entrance, gesturing and talking together. Presently a worker from Hobby Lobby came out and he collected the blocks of wood that the man was standing next to and put them into a cart and wheeled them into the store. Then the man and lady walked to their old pickup truck, got in and drove off. But I sat in my car feeling disturbed and troubled. What had just transpired here? What was this all about? Did those blocks of wood contain something that could potentially harm me and my girls?
I ended up visiting the next store over before going into Hobby Lobby to do the shopping that I had come to do. Those bothersome thoughts lingered with me though...
And I thought to myself, has it really come down to this? I can't even go to the craft store with my daughters without feeling suspicious and fearful for our safety?
America is not the safe place we once knew...
I sat in the Dentist office waiting for my oldest daughter to have some work done on her teeth.The footage from the terrible scenes at the Boston Marathon's were being shown, and then a child psychologist was interviewed, she was asked what we should do about all of this horror in regards to our children? Do we just completely shelter them? Do we allow them to see these gruesome images? What is the proper balance? She replied that it honestly boiled down to their ages, younger children you would explain less to and older children you would show and tell more to. And then another question was posed, as to how we need to be cautious in our surroundings and a list was given.... the lady was asked- "is this really our new norm? Do we really have to start thinking about where we are standing, is their a mailbox or something nearby where an explosive could be hidden? Do we really have to think about how we entered a building and try to go out a different door than the one we came in? Is this really what we are up against these days?" The sobering reply was, "Yes." She also encouraged us not to be in a constant state of fear, but rather to be more aware.
We left the parking lot, errands complete, driving home in a deluge of rain and we prayed, prayed for our safety as we drove. And then it came to me- there will be troubles in this world- we are promised that- but we are also promised that we can be of good cheer, for the Great Conqueror of all has won. He has overcome the world. He has not given us a spirit of fear, but rather of peace. He says "My peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. NOT as this world gives, give I unto thee. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid, for peace I give to you, my peace give I unto you."
And that, my friends is a peace worth hanging on to.