The view from the window by my desk looks over our front yard and beyond. I was sitting here early this morning when a sheriff’s SUV tentatively slowed and then rolled to a stop by our mailbox. Under different circumstances I would certainly have been curious, but with Jeff out for a run on dusty desert back roads and now the sheriff parked at my house, well, curious doesn’t begin to describe it.
Urgent prayers spilled off my tongue as the sheriff came up the walk. Please God let everything be okay. Please God let everything be okay. It was all I could think to pray because down deep I couldn’t imagine any okay reason for the sheriff to be ringing my doorbell at 6:30 in the morning.
I opened the door and stepped outside so that the kids couldn’t hear. The sheriff looked at me with wide eyes. He hesitated, evaluating my condition before sort of bowing his head and finally offering a solemn, “Hello ma’am, good morning.” The look on his face was not a welcome one.
I offered a breathy, “hi.” My eyes, I know, held in them a thousand questions behind just the one.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“Yes,” I said. “I think so. I was, I mean I am–I hope so.”
“What’s going on?” he asked, his voice subdued. Hushed.
I thought it a strange question for him to be asking me, under the circumstances. “I don’t know. I mean, my husband is out for a run and …”
And then there was recognition on his face. Relief. “Oh,” he said. “No, no. Everything is fine.”
“Oh, okay,” I said, exhaling. A lot. “Okay.”
“I just….I saw the look on your face and I didn’t know what that look meant. I’ve seen it a lot of times and sometimes it’s the real thing. I’m just here because we received a 911 call from your house this morning.”
A look of confusion must have replaced my earlier dread.
I let him in and went to check that indeed Torri was sleeping in her room. She was. I have no idea where the 911 call came from. The sheriff went to his truck and then came back. He read me the number of the phone that had placed the 911 call, some seventeen meters from my house. It wasn’t familiar. He got my name and date of birth and phone number. He apologized for scaring the life out of me and then excused himself so as not to do the same to Jeff should he return from his run to find a sheriff truck parked in front of the house.
It was definitely not the most serene start to my day. On the bright side, I used the adrenaline rush to get in an early morning kickboxing workout. And now I’m sitting here reflecting on how much different my day would be right this very moment if that sheriff had come for something else.
Every once in a great while there comes a not-so-subtle reminder to make every moment count.
And maybe it’s a weird thing I do, but in the aftermath, I consider what I should have done differently in that moment. The one in which my life teetered on the edge of whole and not.
In Beth Moore’s study of Daniel, I learned that now is the time to make choices about faith. By deciding right here and right now that when my faith is put to the test I will rest in God’s promises, I’ve already determined the outcome of any given trial–already secured a victory even in the most grievous trouble. By making the advance decision to remain faithful, I eliminate any chance of succumbing under pressure.
This morning I whispered an urgent prayer for everything to be okay. I had no idea that everything was. In hindsight, my prayer should have been just a little different. It should have been please God, strengthen and uphold me through whatever I’m about to face. Because whether or not my circumstances are okay in any given moment, there is and will continue to be a mighty God reigning from his throne. I am called to rest in that–in Him–come what may.
I, obviously, prefer having my faith strengthened during good times. But my visit with the sheriff this morning served as a good reminder that I need to stand strong in faith, no matter who comes calling.