Monday, December 30, 2013

An Unwelcome Christmas Visitor

I have a gun I take with me when I am out in the Alaska backcountry for wildlife protection.  I never thought I would load it to possibly use it against a human being.  Late last Christmas the peace of our home was shattered literally by a man forcing his way into our home.  At the loud sound Kim retreated with the phone and locked herself into the bedroom where our 2 year old granddaughter was sleeping.  I  investigated the sound and was stunned to see a young man climbing into our living room through a broken window.  I did not know if he had a weapon so I ran back to the bedroom to load my revolver.  I'm not a gun enthusiast at all but it appeared that the most feared scenario was unfolding before my eyes.  I would do anything to protect my family.

But I am a person of faith and have had training in alternatives to violence.  So I hid the gun behind my back as I crept down the hall.  When I reached the kitchen I saw the young man laying on the floor in a pool of blood, his head moving back and forth.  Seeing no threat I put the gun away.

The police and ambulance arrived quickly and he was transported to the hospital and then jail.  Kim and I along with our daughter and son-in-law and a helpful officer cleaned up the mess.  We prayed to claim God's peace in our home and tried to sleep.  I took Kim into my arms and we looked into each others' watery eyes.  I said, "We are not immune from the world's brokenness entering our home.  We are going to be okay.  God is our Rock."  It is true.  We are okay and do not appear to suffer any of the effects of this trauma.

So now it is time for some theologizing.  I shudder to think that if I had a loaded gun in my hand when he was entering our home I could have shot and killed him and been justified in the eyes of the law.  What is a Christian response to such an incident?  Where was God in these seconds of terror?  What about the millions of people, especially children who live under a constant threat of danger?  Where is our sense of security?

I suppose the point is that our views on the hot button topics of our day are often argued in a vacuum.  When you are forced out of the vacuum and feel the rush of blowing air slamming into your face it gives you a new perspective.  My perspective is one of gratitude to God that my family is safe.  I pray for families who are subjected to danger.  And I pray that our solutions to violence will have more to do with God than guns.

Grace Always,

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