- I was new in town, a hippie from the San Francisco Bay Area, and now I lived in a suburb of Chicago with my parents. I was a “love child,” “flower child” of the 60’s, which meant tank tops, long skirts and combat boots among other things. I was 19. I got a summer job as a lifeguard at the local pool and hung out after work with the other lifeguards, going to bars in nearby towns to party. It was fun. I didn’t make any permanent friends—too shy really, and not very good at socializing with new people. But I was attracted to this older guy—the “bad boy” guy who stood apart from the crowd.
This guy was different, intriguing. He liked to play pool. So a group of us went to a bar to play pool almost every night; or as it turned out, he and his male friends played pool and I watched, till the early hours of the morning. He paid attention to me and that was a lonely time in my life, so if someone paid attention to me, I was all ears, all attention, all “gaga” over him. We never had sex but still there was this attraction, this connection. Then one night I decided for some reason not to go out after work.
I got a call from one of this guy’s friends about 8 o’clock that night, telling me the guy I liked really wanted me to come meet him down in the parking lot by my work. I was totally into it and started to get ready to go out. Then I stopped. I had this niggling feeling that something was wrong.
I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the Lord giving me a warning. I figuratively felt a cement wall rise up in me. In my hippie-love attitude I had been totally ready to hop in the car and take off to town to meet him, but this odd feeling, like a cement wall encasing me, stopped me. I couldn’t go. It was weird, but I just knew I couldn’t go.
The next day, I donned my lifeguard swimsuit and off to work I went. After work, one of my coworkers pulled me aside where no one else could hear. He looked all around to make sure no one was near, then whispering, he told me the story: “I just wanted to let you know that guy showed up last night at the parking lot with a gun! He was looking for you. He was in a hurry to get out of town and head cross-country. He said he was planning to take you with him! He was really mad when you didn’t show up but he didn’t wait long till he pealed outta here.”
You can imagine the flip-flops my mind did with that! Well, there you are. I was dumb, but still the Lord took care of me and kept me safe. He kept me from showing up that night. I don’t know what would have happened had I gone, but it wasn’t going to be good. The Lord loved me when I was dumb as dirt! Ephesians says:
“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh [is working] in the children of disobedience:
“Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us [made us alive] together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)” (Eph. 2: 1-5).
The thing is, that at the time, I was already a Christian, but I didn’t understand so many things in the Bible and I really didn’t know how to apply Bible things to my everyday life. I certainly didn’t know the Lord like I do now. But what I learned by experience is that when we truly love the Lord, no matter how much Bible we know or don’t know, His love for us is unconditional.
I know for sure that Proverbs 29:25 is true: “Whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.”
And though I’ve walked through the valley of death and gotten myself into trouble many times, “I will fear no evil: for thou [Lord] art with me [always]” (Ps. 23:4).
The Lord has kept me safe (and smarter now too!) and He will do it for you. Love Him, trust Him.
Buy my first WINGS book if you haven’t read it yet. IT WILL BLESS YOU AND ME TOO!