Fugitive on the Loose!

10:02 AMHeather

I love my little town.  Well, my suburb in the midst of the big ole Metroplex.  Our little town feels to me like the best of both worlds.  All the advantages of the big city.  Truly--just about any restaurant or store you could really want is within about twenty miles.  But, all the charm of a small town (without the drama).  Complete with regularly bumping into people I know when I'm out and about and we have a darling historic Main Street.  In fact, at Christmas, my daughter saw the sign on Main Street proclaiming our town as the Christmas Capitol of Texas!  I couldn't convince her it was just advertising.  No, she was sure that we were lucky enough to live in the town that won the contest amongst all of the towns in the Lone Star State and proudly earned the title, fair and square. 

But our little quaint and charming town faced some upheaval last week when a dangerous convict escaped from custody in a car parked at the local Wal-Mart.  I've long considered Wal-Mart to be the place where people lose their minds and good manners.  And apparently, even the criminal they are transporting across state lines.  (Don't even get me started.  I have it all figured out--how those in charge could have avoided this issue.  Like, say, staying within protocol and actually having the required three officers for said transport?  Or, hey--how about transporting the guy in a secured cop car instead of a rental car?  And, here's a thought--how about those shackles?  That would have been nice).

I digress.  Apparently, this last week has made me an expert in law enforcement.  Anyhoo, said criminal escaped a week ago Monday, late at night.  He stabbed the officer (yes, only one with him.  The other guy went in to use the bathroom) with a piece from some eyeglasses.  My husband responded to this news with great admiration--"Dude! That guy must have watched Bourne.  Where he takes the long earpiece and makes a shank out of it!"  Yes, darling.  Indeed.  This whole turn of events had all the schools in the district on strict lock-down Tuesday.  I wasn't alarmed at all.  In fact, nothing but impressed.  Almost like, "Oh, how cute!  Our schools are awesome at security and I don't mind having to be buzzed in.  Cause that guy is long gone, but better to be safe than sorry!"

But, by Friday morning, I was singing a different tune.  My blood turned cold when I saw the news story that the local police and other authorities of all sorts of initials were doing a house by house grid search for this guy.  In my little town.  As in, weapons drawn, door by door, searching room by room.  I may not really be an expert in law enforcement techniques, but I knew enough to know that the authorities wouldn't approach the citizens in this manner unless they had cause to believe the guy was still hanging around.  My anxiety heightened because my man was leaving for his annual President's Day weekend ski trip with the guys.  Leaving me--little Mama Bear me--in charge of protecting my little cubs from some mad man on the loose.  

Suddenly, that school lock-down seemed like the best idea ever.  Things sorta unraveled from there.  A high school in our district was on complete lock-down by Friday afternoon.  As in no one left.  An abandoned house very, very near where my son takes acting was being searched.  And a Facebook rumor had the search in a subdivision not all that far from us.  So, I was left with the task of protecting my children from whatever chaos might unfold.  

I did what any other mom would do.  Well, at least what two other moms did.  We hunkered down together, all in one house, while our husbands were off to enjoy some fresh powder.  Three mamas and all our kids and my dog.  If you've ever met our Murphy you know that he was not brought in for protection.  Merely for moral support.  All the doors were locked.  Metal baseball bats were kept handy.  And we figured there was safety in numbers.  Thus, we dubbed it the Fugitive Lock-In, 2K13.  Because sleepovers aren't just for kids when a convict is on the loose.  That's our slogan for the t-shirts we've mentally designed from our exciting night of facing danger together.

Of course, it must be said that the convict was found and killed Friday night just after midnight on the shores of the local lake.  On the other side of town.  No where near our homes.  So, we really weren't in imminent danger.  Because our local police department ROCKS when they inherit the problem of an escaped convict. Not just don't mess with Texas!  Don't mess with GRAPEVINE, TEXAS!

All this brought a thought to my mind.  And, I nearly came out of my seat when my pastor articulated my exact thoughts during worship on Sunday mornings.  He said it way better than I could.  So, I'll try to quote him, as best I can.  He made the point that we all lived differently during those days when we had a known threat of danger.  During those days when our sleepy little suburb knew that a big bad mean guy was roaming our streets, we were vigilant.  We changed our habits.  We were on guard.  We were careful to not be foolish.  We were watchful.  

Yet, every day, we all face a dangerous enemy.  He's on the prowl, seeking to devour.   He came to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).  He's hiding out, ready to pounce the instant an opportunity arises.  But, we downplay it at best.  Completely ignore it most of the time.  

What if we really got our game on?  What if we really lived with the knowledge of how dangerous he can be?  What if we were on high alert to his ways?  And we truly took this to heart: 

 Do not give the devil a foothold.
Ephesians 4:27

What if we locked the doors of our internet access, our televisions, our media intake, our temper, and our tongue?  What if we stood guard with the weapon of the Word of God as our sword and stayed on watch to how we might be attacked by the enemy?  What if we prayed proactively about those things that come against us?  What if we took the threat seriously?  And did all that we could to protect our marriages, our children, our relationships, our minds, and our families?  What if?  What would that look like?

News flash, bloggy friends.  There's a dangerous convict on the loose.  He's been condemned from on high.  The good news is that he will be caught and he will lose in the end.  He can't escape his coming judgment.  The good guys win.  But he can wreak havoc along the way.  Will we be watchful?  Will we take the threat seriously?   Will we go through our days looking to remove any foothold we give him--any open window or influence we allow from him?  Will we stand firm, together, finding safety in numbers, to be ready for the enemy?  We can be assured of this.  Our big God is enough.  He will be our safety and protection.  So, let's run to our Strong Tower and bolt the doors against any potential danger.  He's way better than a metal baseball bat.

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