Pausing on Thanksgiving to give thanks for God’s protection

Have you ever seen terror in a pair of pupils? If I had, I couldn’t recall. But I recently acquired a firsthand account while watching my 8-year-old daughter, Donae, be targeted by a 6-year-old Border Collie/Eskimo Mix dog named Rocky.

Donae began an excited shuffle up the walkway of her friend Jordyn’s house for a playdate when their dog, Rocky, leaped out their front door laser-focused on my daughter. Just before she had gotten out of the car, we went over the “playdate rules.”

“Be kind, obey her parents and if they have a dog…,” I stated but was quickly interrupted. “Mom, I know. I’m allergic. I won’t go near the dog,” she retorted while getting out of our vehicle. She was anxious to get inside. She and Jordyn had been trying to have this playdate for weeks. Her mother, Michelle, was expecting us and came to the door to greet Donae when I pulled up. But Rocky got a head start with the greeting.

I felt like I was watching from my vehicle in slow motion. I remember hearing barking and Donae saying. “Yeah, I think they have a dog,” as she turned to wave goodbye. Then, it was like I blinked and the next thing I saw was Rocky coming at Donae with full velocity. She began to sprint back to the car in terror. I swear that kid jumped the sidewalk, hurdling the grass and curb into the car before I could even react.

Rocky, still barking frantically, had his nose peeking into the opened door. At this point I started screaming, thinking he was going to make us his dinner. My 5-year old, Rhonda-Rene, was strapped in her seat right next to Rocky’s and his perceived vicious teeth.

I was frozen with fear. My hands had not moved from the steering wheel at ten-and-two. I’m sure if he did get in, I would have begun to flail by arms into some sort of weaponry, like a morphed version of martial arts.

But while watching it unfold, I froze with panic and was unable to think of a rational way to intervene. Luckily, Michele came to relieve us of the mayhem.

“Sorry,” she said, cheerfully leading the dog back into the house. “Thank you, Jesus. Oh thank you, Lord,” exhaled Donae as she re-exited the car for her playdate.

I imagine there are many of us with similar concerns for our safety. The television barks viciously through news reports every day. “We can now confirm the Russian plane that went down on Oct. 31 killing 224 people over the Sinai desert was a result of terrorism,” reported CNN. As were the attacks on Nov. 13 that occurred in Paris where mass shootings, suicide bombings and the taking of hostages took place.

Hasn’t that sent many of us into a state of panic? Perhaps the aggressors are gaining on us. We may in fact become the target of their next malicious bite.

Many of us watch in horror, stricken with fear with our hands locked at ten-and-two. Some lobby for the heads of state to intervene while others make an attempt to flee. But, I don’t believe we can run from evil. Each day the sun rises, the innocent and unsuspecting are fed a fresh serving of hate. It is my belief that above all else, we must pray.

It was a revelation to me that Donae didn’t scream my name while she was running frantically. And once safe, she didn’t acknowledge me as her protector or rescuer. “Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Lord,” she cried out.

I trust that while we remain present on this Earth there is a purpose for us to be here. We do not have to live with a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. Let us be forever grateful for God’s love and protection. He is able to keep us safe from harm.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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