While finishing up, my brother called from Florida. The busyness of life had kept our calls minimal, so naturally, I went to the porch to sit, to enjoy the moment with him.
After our brief conversation, and being pretty much ready to leave already, I thought I'd just quickly run back in and finish in the bathroom and then grab my keys to leave.
The neighborhood was great. It was quiet, clean and well patrolled with strict guidelines for residency. I truly felt safe, secure and settled and knew it was a blessing to be there.
No question God had made a miraculous way for me to live there. But nevertheless, my normal routine is to always lock the door behind me, even if inside only for a minute. Just wisdom.
"Maybe it's Sister Rhonda coming in... But I JUST hung up with her... She's cooking... And she wouldn't just walk in without an announcement of SOME sort, although always welcome to... And what in the world would be her reason to... And how'd she get here so fast... Maybe I'm hearing things... There's no other explanation... I have no other friends nearby... I hear nothing else... No other sounds... But... That sound of the door... I KNOW that sound... Clearly THAT WAS the door... "
Seconds passed feeling like hours and I knew had to go see. Cautiously, I stepped from the bathroom, through my bedroom...
Around the small corner and into the living room where the door was, but still didn't hear a peep...
Glaring at me, she demanded "Give me back my **** Dobro."
"What?" I don't... have...
"Give me back my Dobro!" as she scanned around the room.
Suddenly, I saw her through a very different set of eyes and all fear left me.
"I don't have it." I said.
"My friends told me they saw you come in here with it!"
"Ma'am. I don't have your Dobro- I am not a thief... in the name of Jesus!"
Tension left her face... the perspiring stopped... the shaking stilled, and though still holding the knives, her hands relaxed, and she stood there looking completely confused.
Then, still calm, I pointed to my guitar on the stand by the couch and said in a soothing voice "That's my guitar right there. It's the only one I have."
"No. You don't look like my friends..." and mumbling more words unknown... apologized... turned... and walked out the door she came in.
So. While watching her walk down the sidewalk I immediately called Sister Rhonda. Yup. That's right. Sister Rhonda.
"I think the devil just came to my house."
"I think the devil was just here. Yeah... Really!"
And then explained the situation...
"You better call the police! She might hurt someone! Or get hurt. We'll be right there!"
Needless to say, I called. And as I waited, I watched her, still on the hunt for her Dobro. She was going apartment to apartment, pulling on doors and looking in every parked car she passed. And sadly, the knives were still very much in her hands. And then I lost sight of her.
Now. The moral of THIS story? Well. That "very different set of eyes"... was clearly, Jesus in the house!
No longer was it me looking at this huge threat of danger, but Jesus, Himself, looking at the need.
As fear supernaturally melted away, I could now see her as the pitiful elderly lady in a desperate trouble she was and all I wanted to do was love her. It wasn't about me anymore. It was about a lost and suffering soul.
She could have killed or could have been shot, and either way, lives would have been changed forever. But God had a plan...
When Grace met Mercy.