Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass- it is about learning to dance in the rain.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Response to Threat
"Kickin' against the pricks" Acts 9:5

I had to laugh at myself and yesterday's post. I'd describe it as both honest and naive. My reaction to the school violence at NIU yesterday reminded me of Aunt Lois and her habitual response to threat. Always fearful, hypervigilant, anxious. When what I need to do is simply Remember who's in control.

That's not to say that I'm still not taking my Louisville Slugger to school with me. I will. But after taking time to think, I realize that all I can do is take reasonable precautions.

In July 1966 when Richard Speck murdered eight nurses in Chicago, I had just graduated from high school and was leaving for California for college in September. My Dad spent a great deal of time talking about that incident and how the girls might have protected themselves. He intended to impress on me that I would be capable of defending myself, and he did a good job.

"One man cannot overcome eight women, not even with a gun. If even one of them had tackled him, she might be dead. But the other seven would still be alive," he said.

The lesson was loud and clear. I agreed. I'd rather be the one to die protecting the others than to allow him to tie us up one by one. And the odds would be with us that way. Killers pick victims whom they believe will be docile. A counter attack confuses. Interestingly enough, this is in sync with today's self defense teaching. "Never go to a secondary crime scene. Even if alone," they teach.

And so with my Dad's voice echoing in my brain, I mentally rehearse for dangerous situations. What will I do if someone approaches my car when I'm stopped at a light? What will I do if someone grabs me from behind? What will I do if......

But Thursday's attack took place in less than two minutes. The first police were on the scene in thirty second of the first 911 call. Other units were there one and a half minutes later. By then it was all over. There was no reaction time for anyone.

In the end I have to admit, I have so little control over my life and the fate of those around me that my efforts are "kicking against the goads." (The phrase I feel more like using is from the King James Version: Acts 9:5 "Kicking against the pricks." But I want to use it in the modern sense....however, even that means futile effort. So resorting to religious cussin' won't even help!)

And so, even though I'll have my Louisville Slugger handy, just in case, I know that ultimately, it's all up to the One who is truly in control.


annie's eyes said...

Control and our lack of it is very scary at times. Our only peace is knowing Who is. Sometimes it hits a little too close to home and we have to go there. Thank you for this post and your honest vulnerability. annie

Ann said...

I do the same thing, rehearse what I would do if I was in certain situations.

Mama P said...

Now that I have a daughter almost 4, I'm starting to freak out for the first time. I question posting her photo on the internet. I question "whose father is watching her at a friend's house?" bla bla bla. I am so positive normally, but the world has gotten so crazy, I've become much more protective. But, like your post reminds me, I have to worry that my daughter has another Father, along with myself and my husband. And we can only do so much. It's in His hands ultimately. Nice post.

Mrs. Darling said...

Oh my mind goes a million directions when I read this stuff and hear agbout it on the news. When it comes right down to it I probably wouldn't remember any of my plans in an emergency!

Beck said...

It's scary times. Every morning I pray when I send my vulnerable, beautiful children off into the world.

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