Two days ago a scary thing happened to me. I’ve been told to expect scary things in this city. But it doesn’t make them any less scary when they happen.
Isaac left early Tuesday morning to get the car serviced. He had an appointment and was supposed to be back by noon. But at noon he called to tell me that they hadn’t even started, and since he was a 30 minute car ride away, he probably wouldn’t be there in the afternoon. (Yes, this is what life is like in Africa.)
At 1pm Makeyla and I headed over to the center. We only live a block and a half from the center, so we walk every day. As I approached the street we have to cross, I saw several police cars and a small crowd of people. But I saw no police on the streets. At the same time I reached the corner, the police got out of their cars and drew their weapons.
I froze. I didn’t know what to do.
Then people started shouting at me, “RUN WITH THE BABY! RUN WITH THE BABY!”
And so I ran.
I ran across the street toward the center. Once I got to the door, I knocked and knocked and no one answered. Isaac had expected to be back by the time we had to go, and so he had the keys. I stood there at the door, feeling so incredibly unsafe.
I had just run in front of a pointed gun.
Why did they tell me to run?
Had they meant run the other direction?
Why didn’t I just run home?
These are the questions we can ask ourselves AFTER the fact. But in the middle of a scary moment, it’s fight, flight or freeze. I froze and then regrettibley followed the voice of the crowd.
Nothing happened to me. I am fine. I was let in the building soon after I started knocking. No shots were fired. I’m not sure what even was happening on the corner. And for some reason I have no desire to ask. Because this is a city where scary things just happen.
I’ve been replying the scene in my mind over and over again. I’m upset that I was in that situation, and upset that I responded the way I did. But yesterday on our walk home from the base, I saw something that is giving my soul peace.
A reminder of a promise.
God is with us. I’m not alone. He is protecting us.
Scary things happen, but He knows about them and He is always with me through every situation.
“He who calls you is faithful…” 1Thess. 5:24