As a small-town girl headed off to college, I thought if I stayed out of the “bad” parts of the big city and hung out with the “right” crowd I would be safe—safe from all the scary stuff I’d seen on the news (because social media wasn’t a thing yet back then).
I told myself if I followed those rules nothing bad would happen to me. And I lived by that theory. In some ways, that was smart. And in some ways, it was naïve. Naïve because there is evil in this world—evil that doesn’t limit itself to the “bad” parts of town and the “wrong” crowds.
I know now there are people hurting bad enough to hurt people everywhere, and that bad things can happen anywhere—at sporting events, in shopping malls, movie theaters, churches, our homes, and in our schools. We can’t hide from the bad.
In one week, I got a text from my dad shortly after I woke up that said, “Need quick prayers for Mom. The man they have been searching for was just at our house. He wanted to use the phone. She got the doors locked and called 9-1-1.”
The fugitive who had been the subject of a manhunt near my hometown knocked on my parent’s door on Monday and mom answered. He was caught a short time later.
Although Rhonda and I haven’t seen each other since we were kids, we have kept in touch over the years and my heart was broken for her on Friday evening when I learned what had happened.
We were both especially fond of our Grandma.
Grandma was the coolest, and that’s an understatement. She was strong, a little sassy, and extremely kind-hearted. She was a great influence on my life, and I can’t speak for Rhonda, but I think hers too. Grandma was also the something of scrapbooking aficionado. And when she passed away, I was given most of her scrapbooks, some dating back to the 40’s.
A wise friend once said, “When you don’t know what to do, do something.” So, on Friday night when I didn’t know what to do, I looked through Grandma’s albums. I flipped through the pages searching for a picture of Grandma with Kim to send to Rhonda.
There were pictures of Rhonda, pictures of her kids, vacation Bible school fliers, and various clippings. One clipping caught my eye. It wasn’t what I was looking for, but it drew me in. I never did find what I was looking for. But in that moment, staring at that clipping with tears filling my eyes, I felt as though Grandma was asking me to send it to Rhonda instead.
The clipping read: “DO NOT FEAR what may happen tomorrow; the same loving Father who cares for you today, will care for you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings.” – St. Francis De Sales
We can’t hide from the bad. But we can trust in Him to see us through.