Friday, December 20, 2013

the day i bumped into a secret service agent

This morning I knelt down to snap this picture because I had to capture it...snapdragons in December.
When I stood and turned to walk back into our hotel I nearly bumped right into a secret service agent.  OK...I don't know if he was really a secret service agent but he was wearing a suit and had one of those earpiece thingys and he looked really serious like he was using some kind of metal detector in his head to scan me for weapons.  

Behind him there were other secret service agents and a couple of big SUV's with U.S. government plates.  I tried to look at the whole scene without looking at the whole scene - know what I mean?  I didn't want to be 'that person' but I was curious.

I walked into the lobby with confidence and the serious guy didn't stop me {I guess a bedhead mama in yoga pants didn't seem to pose any threat.}  I was the only other person in the small lobby besides the people associated with this 'scene'.  I stopped to refill my coffee {which BTW was not a cover for being nosy...I really did need a refill}.  The secret service guys hurried a group of people I didn't recognize into the adjacent dining room and I watched as the 'protected' people were seated at the very table where I ate breakfast this morning.

I made it back to my room without being frisked and peered through my window to see a handful of those guys in suits pacing the parking lot.  They are probably running the tags on my car to see if I am a convicted felon or anything.

I guess I should feel protected...
or maybe unimportant that I don't have my own guys in suits.

It's a funny thing isn't it?
How some people in this world require extra protection by men with earpieces and armored cars
and others of us just brave the world in a pull-over, driving a minivan.

I'm sure those security guys are trained to know everything about their surroundings.  If their job is to protect someone they have to know what they should protect them from.
The very existence of such a job is really based on one thing...fear.

I get afraid sometimes.

In fact, I've been fighting fear all week.
Yesterday I left my five year old daughter overnight for the first time since she was diagnosed with T1D and Graves.  
I was afraid I would forget to leave something she needed.
I was afraid the people caring for her might not be able to intuitively gauge what she needs like I can.
I was afraid she would go so 'low' she would lose consciousness and I wouldn't be there to do what I have rehearsed in my mind to do dozens of times.
I was afraid it was all still too new and she would feel abandoned by me.
I was afraid she might eat something or do something that would trigger her 'honeymoon' to end and we would never be able to get it back.

So much of that probably sounds ridiculous to you, but it felt very real to me.
Fear does that.
It leads you down a winding path of half-truths into a dense dark jungle of despair and then leaves you for dead.
But we are not meant for darkness...we are meant for light.
And we are not meant for death...we are meant for life.

So how do those of us without bodyguards walk through this fear-filled world alone...without protection.
We don't.

We have someone too.
He knows every detail of our surroundings...of the past, present and future conditions of our lives.
He doesn't wear a suit, He is clothed in majesty and strength.
He doesn't drive us around in an armored car, He gives us our own armor.
He is equally present with me here on the beaches of southern Georgia as He is with my daughter on a farm in South Carolina.

There is a song we sing at our church that includes these words...
I know who goes before me.
I know who stands behind.
The God of angel armies is always by my side.

I don't know about you but that makes me feel protected
...and important.

Next week is Christmas.
A time to celebrate the One sent to exchange our fear for our freedom...
the One who would walk unarmed through this world filled with threats so that we might have full access to Him.
No background checks or pat downs necessary.

Whatever fear may be standing between us and Him in the coming days, I pray we would let it go so that we could grab hold to the promise of Christmas with both shaking hands.