Sunday, November 9, 2008

"Please Protect Daddy Today"

When my husband is not working, or taking care of us, he is in the mountains. He loves the mountains. The trouble with this is that he has to get there somehow. Sometimes, when I know he will be travelling a particular treacherous route, I wish that I could just snap my fingers and he would be there safely. Then, a week later, snap them again and he'd be home.

Unfortunately that only happens in the movies.

So, since my girls were able to talk, we have taught them to pray..."God, please protect Daddy today."

I'm sorry to say that that prayer has become rote and too familiar. I've said the words so many times over the past 27 years I've barely remembered what I've been praying for. So God, in His infinite wisdom, decided to give me a small reminder (and then another....)

About a month ago Tony was coming home from a hunting trip near Hedley. He spent two days travelling the high mountain roads and then made the trip back home on the Coquihalla Highway. For those of you who aren't from British Columbia, the "Coq" is a mountain highway notorious for very long steep grades and eating up cars for breakfast. Tony made his way down the mountain without a mishap and through the Fraser Valley on the #1 Freeway. He turned onto our street, put on his left turn signal to turn into our driveway, stepped on the brake and... nothing. The pedal went to the floor. Using the emergency brake he managed to keep the truck on the road, avoid oncoming traffic and squeak into our driveway.

Ever time I think about his trip home and that last moment I cringe. The long hills that he went down, the speeding freeway traffic and the high cliffs in the middle of nowhere....the brakes could have failed anywhere on that trip and it happened at our driveway. I was so grateful that he came home safe and sound but I am embarrassed to admit that I don't remember praying for his safety that day.

I guess the Holy Spirit began to speak to me then. "I should write about this," I thought but nothing came of it. I stepped back into my daily existence far too easily.

Then yesterday morning I got an email from my friend Joan. This is what she wrote:

It's Saturday morning at 10:30. Werner just called me. He and Steve left late last night to go hunting up by Bowron Lakes (behind Barkerville). They expected the trip to take about 8 hours. They were almost at their destination when Werner fell asleep at the wheel, which he has never done before. Steve was sleeping and they were travelling about 70 to 80 km per hour. The truck went off the road, spun around, but didn't roll. Werner and Steve are both unhurt even though the truck is totalled. He has photos and says that's it's amazing that they weren't hurt or killed. He believes that it wasn't his time yet, and that it's only God's protection that kept him and Steve safe. I think it's a gift from God too, and I'm very thankful.

I was overwhelmed after I read Joan's email and I was reminded once again of how much God loves us and protects us and how easy it is to forget that when all is going well, when your loved ones come home, time after time, trip after trip. My daily little prayers... thanks for the food, thank You for my family, bring Tony home safe... have been said without much conviction because I had lost sight of how important even those small prayers really are. Fortunately, for us, our God loves and protects us when we don't deserve it and we haven't really talked to Him in days.

Tony, Werner and Steve... so thankful you're home safe.
Thank you, thank you God.