I don’t often write about my children, out of respect for their preference for internet privacy, but this string of events is too strange not to share.
In the past few months one of my sons has been a firsthand witness to 1) a police sting, 2) armed road rage aimed at he and his girlfriend, 3) a drug bust and paddywagon-haul of a houseful of neighbors, 4) the discovery of a man’s body while walking a riverside trail, and just last week: 5) a swat team with drawn guns emerging from a black SUV in front of their home, moving quickly down the block to swarm another neighbor’s house.
Only some of this drama happened in his immediate neighborhood, which is (or was) a fine one. It’s only a two block walk to a beautiful, private college campus. There was no reason to expect trouble in their environment.
A few days ago he and his girlfriend moved to a small city in an adjacent state for new jobs. They have a nice apartment in a complex bordering a picturesque, wooded bike path.
In the early morning rain on their very first morning there, my son’s girlfriend took the dog outside to do his business, and came face to face with two men exiting the bike path. They seemed “off” to her. She remembers every detail of their appearance. They stood staring at her, then kicked down a trash container and went on their way. Soon after, despite a downpour, a fire broke out in the woods. Within minutes, multiple police and fire vehicles descended, and the two out-of-place men were forgotten.
I visited my son and his girlfriend yesterday. We took the dog for a walk, saw the burnt area in the woods, and wondered what caused it. Back at home last night, I heard on the TV news that a stolen car had been burned on that bike path, and two men had been seen from afar fleeing the area. The police asked for help from any other witnesses. I called my son — since their cable and internet had yet to be hooked up, they’re in a news void — and already this morning, his girlfriend has become a helpful witness in the police’s attempt to identify and apprehend two car thieves and arsonists. Welcome to your new town, kids.
The first drama was shocking, the second disconcerting, the third weird, the fourth surreal, the fifth causing detachment, and the sixth causing laughter! They’re young – most people outside of high crime areas don’t witness that much up-close-and-personal “TV drama” in a lifetime. Even I, a once worried and protective mom, am bewildered to the point of humor. Of course, they haven’t been hurt – that would change everything – but our takeaway to date is, it’s a bizarre, unpredictable world sometimes!
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
It makes me wonder what God has in store for them. Has he brought them close to events that were transpiring anyway (people have free will), to prepare them? To train them? To equip them with knowledge and wisdom for something ahead? To mold their temperaments to befit meaningful work, to be of help to others?
We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
I don’t know, I just think so many incidences are too unprecedented to ignore — God may have His hand in it. And that gives me peace. Peace beyond understanding. Peace that comes from security, from confidence in God’s plan, and certainty in His great love.
Philippians 4:7 – And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
May this peace be true for you, too.