. . .safe?

I remember my grandfather’s sharp command, “Run to the storm cellar; a storm is coming.”   Satellite or radar wasn’t around  to predict possible disasters way back when.  If the sky warned of an impending storm, everyone at my Papa’s house was imprisoned for hours, waiting out the storm.

You know– I don’t remember how antsy I was to get out of that dark crowded  cave as a young child.  That cool bunker also served as Aunt Ruth’s  underground pantry.  We sat on hard  low benches, and I would count the many jars of canned fruit and vegetables on the upper ledges overhead. Potatoes and carrots stayed cool on a layer of papers. I do remember feeling safe.

I suppose those times in that protective cellar prepared me to want my children near me when a storm was forecast.  Springs storms, summer storms alive with loud claps of thunder and lightning or the ominous storms of winter–it didn’t matter the season, I wanted all of them at home-right then.     I felt like the ” hen gathering  her chicks under her wing. . .” in Matthew 23.

Because of our years in Vienna and Denmark, the world I ‘see’ and know is much larger, more inclusive of many languages, faces and cultures.  Now,  I pray for protection, for security, for hope–for  “our international children.”

And I am never more aware of this love and concern I still carry for those beautiful faces as when there is an international crises.

The mood in our home last Friday evening was set for neighbor guests.  Candles burned. The fireplace blazed and hissed in one room while Henry Mancini’s band played in another. Wonderful fragrances filled the rooms–truly a safe, comforting atmosphere.

And then we heard the news!

Immediately I wanted to make sure Shelia was safe there in Paris.  What if her son was at the concert? Maybe she was at the restaurant? I must write her this minute I thought.   I suddenly wanted everyone I knew in Europe under my ‘wings’, holding them, loving them into safety; I wanted to get them into a storm cellar.

But I cannot.

Jesus must have had this sense of longing for those in the city of Jerusalem; “how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing . . .” verse 37

One of our guests that Friday evening shared  of a recent incident when a man, visibly high on drugs, tried determinedly to enter her house.  Thankfully, a 911 call brought her immediate help. We concluded that we, even in  small town Tennessee, are no longer as safe as we like to believe.

We are vulnerable, so “out there” for tragedy. Are we safe anywhere? Dare I live abundantly, free–anywhere? I want my journey to look like the picture at the top of this blog–me, walking with you down a peaceful country lane.

And if not, is there a storm cellar where I can run to for safety, for protection? And a place I can take all those I love with me?

And I know, and you as a  believer, know.  Yes . . .there is a safe place and only one place. “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield . . .” Psalm 91: 4,5. But does this mean that nothing bad will happen to me or my children or those I love in Austria,  Denmark, in Paris, London, or Peru or  the Philippines?  And we will all live ‘happily ever after’?  I think not.  What it does mean, is that I can have the peace, the assurance that He is faithful to protect me and all who trust Him for an eternal future.

When the storms erupt around me, and I cannot run into a cellar for shelter, I can run and run swiftly under His wings . . .

. . .but I must learn to settle, just to rest . . .there. .  .





About oct17

The little girl in me loves bird watching, butterflies, sunrises, sunsets, walks in the rain; the adult I am enjoys the same. I sense God's awesomeness in all of life--what wonder there is in slicing a leek or cutting open a pomegranate. I have many favorite things--a formation of Canadian geese flying overhead, the giggles of my grand daughters, the first ripe watermelon in summer, snowflakes on my face--these gifts from my heavenly Father delight me continually.
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6 Responses to . . .safe?

  1. Lucy says:

    Thank you my dear Barb for thinking about us way back here in Vienna. Yes, we can be sure of safety only with our Father, our Rock and our Refuge.


    • oct17 says:

      Oh, my precious Lucy. Yes, yes–how often I “remember” –hear and see those I will always cherish from our beautiful years there at IBCV–especially in these turbulent times. Stay safe–knowing you are loved by our heavenly Father–and by me:-)


  2. Thank you dearest Barb for these beautiful words. It has been hard for me also with all that has happened. However, I keep thinking and even told Joshua last week that we shouldn’t live in fear. What is important is salvation and we can know that Jesus will always be with us.


    • oct17 says:

      Thank you, sweet Friend. Yes, He is our only hope and source of peace and comfort in a world going in many different directions–and most of them in a maze. Still miss you and the quiet sweet times with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gloria m. Smith says:

    I always love reading about your journey – it always up lifts me.a few days ago our youngest son disowned us – he said he never wants to hear from us again and to not be in touch with his wife and our three Grandbabies that they have. This has been like a death to me – I feel like i have been a banded by God. I’ve gone after this lost sheep for many years and neglected my flock.i feel lost.We are still living at Mikes parents home – I don’t think I’ll ever have my own home again – I just take my drugs for depression and lay down and another day goes by.


  4. oct17 says:

    Oh, my dear Gloria. I will email you or call you later tonight. I hope I have your current email address and your current phone number. I wish I could be right there with you this minute.


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