Monday, December 9, 2013

Safety in the City

Psalm 119:117  "Hold thou me up and I will be safe . . ."

The larger the city, the bigger the illusion of safety these days.  The cheaper the neighborhood, the more likely crime will occur.  That's why we need to be constantly thankful to the Almighty for any days free of risk.

As I've mentioned in previous blogs, there were several occasions when I worked a second job at night.  In 1996, I had repetitive car repairs and buying a different used auto seemed to make it worse.  So, I took a second job to pay off the bills.  While working at a call-in center for pizza delivery, I noticed cars that seemed to be following me home.  The first two I saw were old rattle-trap vans.  One was medium blue.  The other was a patchwork made from several old cars.  There is no definitive proof who was driving them, but three such vehicles belonged to people who worked at my day job.  One was frequently in my neighborhood.

I began varying my route home.  One path I took, three little teenage boys would pull in behind me.  They drove two different vehicles.  After I retired, I was out during the day where cars and people are more visible.  A sudden movement caught my attention.  When I looked that direction, one of those cars was there.  I saw a teenage boy trying to slump down and hide himself from sight.  The driver, I knew to be the previous owner of my townhouse.  The family had been evicted and the kid, now older, was stalking the old lady who had bought their home.

There were also three slant front vans that were frequently in the parade.  I never found out why they did it, but two of the three came barreling out from behind the building of my day job one morning.  One was being driven by a man whom I believe to be the night shift janitor.

A supervisor at one of my jobs had a habit of hiring her family members.  Her sister's car broke down on the highway, so the family bought her a more reliable one.  When the one that had broken down followed me into the secluded location of my newest second job, I inquired what had happened to the broken down car.  I didn't say I knew that her brother had been driving it.

Just after that encounter, a large gold car, probably and old V8, began circling around and around through my route.  I'd seen them in maybe three to four locations on a single trip.  Then I'd get to my community and a great big Neighborhood Watch truck would tailgate me to my corner.  That sure made the terror complete.  I guess they thought I could read those tiny door signs through their high beam headlights.  The night the gold car got within three blocks of my house, I asked a day manager if I could do work at home for extra income.  She agreed.

Soon, two of the men from the gold car began working for my company.  One of these threatened to shoot a manager if she did anything to cost him his job.

Years later, the third one was arrested for killing and cooking a friend because he had always wanted to know what it was like to eat a person.  It made me shudder to wonder if I were on the menu for lunch back then.  And, no, it isn't funny, is it?  He lived just blocks from me.

There is no question in my mind that God protects us . . . holds us up so we will be -- if not free of all harm -- at least safer than we could be.  Don't you wonder how people stand living in a war zone?

It is said God won't give us more than we can bear.  Sometimes many of us just wish He didn't think we were quite so strong.

But, thank you God for any and all protection you can offer.

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