…he rescues you from hidden traps shields you from deadly hazards.His huge outstretched arms protect you under them you’re perfectly safe;his arms fend off all harm.Psalm 91:4 (MSG)
It was the sound of a trailing vehicle unleashing its full force against the trunk of our pickup. That such a tawdry-looking assembly of shafts, pulleys and lever systems, held together by bolts and nuts, long after valuers had written it off their books, could still stand the impact and gallantry of the then elegant piece of engineering work, leaves much to be said of modern technology which favours modishness over ruggedness. But such is the fairness of life. Sometimes. Our wobbly-looking, age-battered, 28-year old vehicle might have been among the humiliated automobiles on the road, but what it lacked in style, it made up for in strength.
On our faces, we wore a muddled look of shock and surprise. But mostly anger. Shock at the close call at death – the second in the day for me; surprise at the recklessness of the offending driver; and anger at the time wastage and economic implications.
Earlier that day, it had been just me. I was waiting on the Lord and as I took those kingly strides across the road, I wondered what my Master had for me. But in that mood, oblivious to my passing, he sped off right past me on that two-wheeled vehicle. He had no helmet on but I was the one to be scared for my life – not he – for he would not as much as turn to blink an eye at the anything-but-calm young man he had just missed by a hair’s breadth. The boisterous enterprise between buyers and sellers along the edges of the street, and the verbal slurs among drivers that often characterised typical Monday mornings suddenly gave way to a befuddled, mystified look on my face. It was a look of awe – not at the grandeur of God or a piece of His creation, but at the ghastly possibilities of all that could have gone wrong a few seconds back.
That very morning, before I had left home, while anticipating what the day held for me under the cold showers that trickled with measured carefulness, I had had a premonition … No! The Holy Spirit prompted me to pray against accidents and I had obeyed, not knowing what the day held for me, except that I was starting the day with God. And that was all that mattered. Perhaps, safety, after all, is not where you are. Safety is where God is!
Through one episode of bad event after the other, God had been with me and it mattered not whether the circumstances surrounding the day’s events involved earthmovers or high-hydrocarbon-chain fossil fuel romancing with naked fire; I would still be safe.
As I walked home that evening, I carried a grace-adorned grin about me. “I have escaped death twice”, I pondered; and the spilling over of personal effects from my backpack, including my most cherished laptop, onto the hard, concrete floor of the “Tema Station” lorry station would do very little to rob me of my deserved contentment.