I sort of have an irrational fear that while I’m putting my children in their car seats, someone will come behind me and knock me over the head. They will take my purse, my child waiting to get in the car, my child in the car, or whatever they want. This explains my slightly paranoid looks over the shoulder as I wrestle them into their seats. Yesterday didn’t help in regards to this image in my mind.
It was broad daylight yesterday when I walked out of Kohl’s. I didn’t have my head down looking at my phone. I wasn’t distracted at all. I did however, have my hands full. My 2 year old didn’t want to hold my hand as we walked to the car. It’s a rule he holds my hand while walking in parking lots. As I somewhat dragged him to the car with his legs half bent and crying, I was reminding him of this rule. One hand was occupied doing this and the other was pushing the stroller. I hit the remote start to the car as we walked towards it since it was cold. I thought the car could heat up as I was buckling the kids in. We got to the car and as I was buckling in my 2 year old, I did several looks around outside of the car. I saw nothing. I looked back to my son and buckled the straps on his car seat.
Just as I looked up, a man wearing a camouflage jacket was walking, at a decent pace, towards me and my child in the stroller. He came out of nowhere. I stopped what I was doing and looked at him. He said hello and I respond back with the same. For a split second, I felt bad. I had judged him as someone up to no good. He could tell I was watching him. He quickly turned 90 degrees and went a completely different direction. I had a bad feeling. Something wasn’t right. Why did he turn when I saw him walking towards me? It was odd. Next he turned back around and came towards me again. “Excuse me. Do you have cash to spare so I can buy a gallon of gas?” He asked, as he kept getting closer. A sense of calmness mixed with knowledge of knowing what to say, and to do it boldly, came over me. I planted my feet firmly on the ground and stood up straight. I made direct eye contact with him and didn’t take my eyes off him. “I’m sorry. I don’t have any cash on me at all,” I responded with a serious look. I lied. I had cash, but there was no way I was about to lean back in my car and turn my back to him leaving my child between us. He gave me a frustrated look and then walked away.
Here’s the thing. I’m all about helping someone who needs a few bucks, I am. Gut feelings and that still small voice override any ounce of compassion in me instantly though. Something was off here and I sensed it right away when he came back towards me. Call it discernment, paranoia, or a sixth sense. I think God places a gift in Mothers the day He allows them to become a Mom. It’s the same one He gives Mother bears. Because of it, we can sense danger and stand up to it instead of cowering from it.
What do you need to be bold about today? May you find that gift deep within and put it to good use. Listen. He still speaks in that still small voice.