Jon and I took the kids to a county fair by our home. We took the “back roads” there instead of the highway and as we were driving we passed a maximum security correctional facility. It is literally less than 15 miles from our house. Even if you didn’t see the sign you would know that this place is serious. As you pull up to it the first thing you notice is the fencing with the barbed wire. The first fence that you see has barbed wire just on the top and then the next two fences have barbed wire from the top all the way to the ground, and the fourth fence has it once again at the top. Needless to say this place doesn’t want people getting out.
I commented to my husband that I forget about this place and that it is so close to our home. Sometimes we live in the shadow of something potentially dangerous but have no realization that calamity is so close to us.
When we were young my dad took a trip without the rest of the family, if I recall it was to be with my grandparents. I vividly remember the night we went to pick him up from the airport. We were at church for a gathering and as it came time to go pick my dad up from the airport my mom was rapidly trying to gather my sisters and me and probably the ton of stuff we took with us to church and get out the door. We got in the car and got buckled in. My mom was in a hurry because we were running behind. We pulled up to the church door and she turned and looked at my sister and asked her if she had to use the bathroom. My sister emphatically denied having to go. Suspicious but also really wanting to leave my mom pulled away from the church and out onto the road. It was a wintry evening with a storm that was moving into the area. The drive was longer than it should have taken with road conditions being less than ideal. As we pulled up to the airport my mom discovered that my sister had wet her pants ruling out a trip into the airport to pick up my dad. My mom proceeded to circle the airport three or four times. It was the days before cell phones and her frustration increased with each time we drove past the door and didn’t see my dad. About the fourth time around my mom spotted my dad walking by the door. My mom pulled over and went to the door to get my dad. The ride home was less than pleasant for my sister.
I remember waking up the next morning and going out into the living room to see my mom sitting at the table with the newspaper sitting in front of her. She called me over to the table and showed me the headline that said, “Hundred car pile up”. My mom explained that the accident occurred on the highway we were on a mere five minutes after we had passed that point. If my sister had gone into the church to use the bathroom we would have been in the middle of that pile up.
I often think about circumstances like these and wonder about the what ifs. I also wonder about the times that I don’t know about the danger that is so close. I am so thankful for a Creator who loves me and sees all of this and watches over me.