Be Safe…

Have you happened to notice the stressed importance on safety? It seems to me nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is more important these days. Have a safe flight, be careful, watch out… these have become mantras in our apparently unsafe existence.

I’m certainly not against safety. I say some of these things to our daughters as they leave the house. It’s a dangerous world after-all. But when did safety become a god to be worshipped?

I’m flying as I write this, and the safety obsession on the airlines is good in my opinion when it comes to things like the plane staying in the air. But is it necessary for contactless payments to protect me from disease? I mean for Pete’s sake I’m in an aluminum can with hundreds of people. Will this mask really stop a virus from penitrating my nasal passages? No chance.

I was walking down the jet bridge thinking how all of this comes back (mostly) to who we serve. Has the god of the age blinded us to the reality of death? Have we forgotten it’s looming?

As a Christian I’m called to reject this idea. God has me in the palm of His hand. I’m in the beloved and there is no safer place to be. I’m not calling you or me to take silly chances, but the reality is this has more to do with control than actual safety.

Cory tenBoom-s sister Betsy recognized God’s control over the seemingly smallest details when she left her bed to go downstairs and returned later to find shrapnel had penetrated the home and lodged right where she lay.

You and I will die when it is appointed for us to die. So stop stressing it.

Mark 6:20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly.

Herod kept John alive until it was his time to go. It is no more complicated than that.

Mark 6:27 And immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison.

I hope not to lose my head or go down in a fiery ball of metal falling from the sky, but if that is God’s plan, that’s the way it will be.

Stay safe my friends, stay in the word.

(Forgive my typos and sloppy punctuation, I’m writing on the fly, literally)

Post flight update: I was asked by the 20 something year old to pull my mask up during the remaining 30 minutes of the flight. I guess she was safety conscious, and since safety is United’s number one concern I didn’t want to offend…or get escorted off the plane in Houston. Insert smiley face emoji here.

Update on the story of Cory and Betsy tenBoom

One night I tossed for an hour while dogfights (war planes) raged overhead, streaking my patch of sky with fire. At last I heard Betsie stirring in the kitchen and ran down to join her.

She was making tea. She brought it into the dining room where we had covered the windows with heavy black paper and set out the best cups. Somewhere in the night there was an explosion; the dishes in the cupboard rattled. 

For an hour we sipped our tea and talked, until the sound of planes died away and the sky was silent. I said goodnight to Betsie at the door to Tante Jans’s rooms and groped my way up the dark stairs to my own. The fiery light was gone from the sky. I felt for my bed: there was the pillow. Then in the darkness my hand closed over something hard. Sharp too! I felt blood trickle along a finger.
It was a jagged piece of metal, ten inches long.

“Betsie!” I raced down the stairs with the shrapnel shard in my hand. We went back to the dining room and stared at it in the light while Betsie bandaged my hand. 

“On your pillow,” she kept saying. 

“Betsie, if I hadn’t heard you in the kitchen—” 

But Betsie put a finger on my mouth. “Don’t say it, Corrie! There are no ‘ifs’ in God’s world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety—Oh Corrie, let us pray that we may always know it!

Kevin

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