TODAY’S FORECAST: HOPEFUL
Yesterday my husband, Bob, got the rare opportunity to go with some buddies to the Cleveland Browns football game. With my health constantly changing and how busy we are with the kids, Bob rarely has a few minutes to himself, let alone a whole afternoon. At this time of year especially, I was glad not only for him to have the opportunity to go and have some fun, but also that I was feeling well enough to hold down the fort by myself with the kids and get them where they needed to be without his help.
Our daughter, Meghan, had a travel basketball game yesterday afternoon. Our son, Jake, and I settled in the bleachers to watch her and her team take on their opponent. About 3/4 through the game, Jacob had to go to the bathroom, of course! Meghan was playing in the main gym of the local high school so the bathrooms were just across the hall, very close to where we were sitting. Since Meghan had taken a break and was on the bench for a few minutes, it was actually the perfect time to go.
Jake has gotten very funny as of late about going into the women’s restroom when he is with me. He’s 7 (and a half!) now, so he thinks he has graduated from having to go with Mom. The men’s restroom was right there, so I said, “I will stand right here outside the door, you go in and go, wash your hands and come right back out. I’ll be right here.” He nodded and went in.
I can’t explain it. When he entered that bathroom yesterday, I had the WORST sense of foreboding. I don’t know if I was just more sensitive and protective since the CT shooting, but I immediately felt sick in my stomach that he was in there. Not a second later, a man who had been standing in the hallway outside the gym went into the restroom. I felt more ill. I knew I couldn’t go barging in there with other men, probably at the urinals, so I did the only thing I could think of, I prayed.
I prayed, “Lord, please protect my little boy. Please wrap your heavenly angels around him and don’t let anyone hurt him in any way. Let them form a barrier around him and please be with him and let him come out unharmed.”
A few seconds later, a man came out in a Santa hat. I had (have) no right to judge this man, he could be the most wonderful human being in the world, but he looked, well, CREEPY and yes, I judged. He wouldn’t look at me and I watched him exit the bathroom, walk down the hall and directly out the main doors of the high school. A second later, the man who had entered the bathroom right after Jacob had gone in, came out and said to me, “I just had an inkling I should go in and check on your little boy for you. Just so you know, he is taking his time washing his hands, but he should be out in a second. He said he was watching his sister’s game and that you were waiting for him outside. He said his Daddy’s at the Browns game today.”
My first reaction was that I needed to have a serious talk with Jacob (again) about talking with strangers, even kind ones. The second was a flood of thankfulness. This man was probably a grandpa, I think, for one of the many girls playing in the many gyms of the high school yesterday. He had white hair, kind eyes and a red sweatshirt. I didn’t get his name and all I could muster back was a quick “Thank You” as Jacob came out of the bathroom, walked toward the gym and noted that “Sissy’s team was losing.” The grandpa looked at me and said, “Unfortunately, so are the Browns.” and we went our separate ways.
I didn’t see the man after our game, he was probably in another gym or had left by that time. Besides a good reminder talk about talking and sharing with strangers, last night we prayed as a family around our Advent wreath for this “Grandpa angel.” I don’t know, but I honestly think he was an answer to my frantic prayer. I wish I could go back now and tell him how much I appreciate him and how I just been praying for the safety of my little boy in that restroom. I ask God grant a special blessing on his heart this week.
Alabama has a song called “Angels Among Us.” Here is the link to YouTube. http://youtu.be/S0ISmE0yRJ8. When you listen to it, please say a prayer for the “grandpa angel” that helped us yesterday. Pray for me too and the rest of the world would you? That I wouldn’t be so quick to judge people I don’t know and that we all would learn to trust God with our continued prayers. Most importantly, that a nation full of hurt over the CT loss (and every loss we’ve endured this year) would turn to God for comfort and peace. Peace today my friends.