One of Judah’s favorite afternoon activities is to go get the mail. He loves to get into the closet where the household keys hang from a caribeaner and run out to the mailbox, usually in barefeet, exclaiming that he can reach the mailbox this time, which of course he can’t because it’s a foot taller than he is. A few times I’ve gone to get the mail when he’s supposed to be sleeping, but having been spied upon from his bedroom window, I turn around to the cries of, “Mama! Ju-wah! Mail! Wait!” as he tears after me with his barefeet hauling as fast as he can go. It’s quite precious, minus the fact that he’s not taking a nap like he should.
But we didn’t get the mail yesterday. It was stormyyuckynasty, so I decided the mail could wait. Judah, however, did not: and since I wouldn’t take him outside, he decided to play with the mail keys anyway, telling me that he hid them. “Where are they?” “MamaDaddy’s room.” “Hmm, sneaky. Go put them back in the closet please.”
Last night I had a writing group to attend, and wanting a little peace and quiet before leaving, I did what every sane mother has known to do: I locked myself in the bathroom. Which, you know the sound of a locked bathroom door is the loudest sound on the face of the earth to an inquisitive toddler. “Mama, what you doin? Mama, I come in! Mama, it’s Ju-wah! Lemme in!” I ignored him and contined to freshen up. All of a sudden: no power. My folks had lost power at their place earlier that day, so I figured it just took its time winding down the valley. But looking out my window I noticed: my neighbors have power. And walking out of my bedroom I realized the rest of my house had power.
“Jason, the circuit breaker up here needs to be fixed.”
A few minutes later I went back upstairs to get my shoes on and noticed something usual:
- A carribeaner.
- With two keys.
- Placed in the electrical socket outside of our bathroom.
“Jason! I know why we had no power.”
As I tried to kick the keys out of the socket, sparks started flying and lights started flickering. Jason told me he’d get a stick from the garage to remove it. Judah, sensing excitement in the air as only he can, came up the stairs in front of Jason. As I started to chastize him firmly about keys and electrical sockets, he tore into our room as though to hide his misdeed.
We shrieked at him. He grabbed the carribeaner, tore into his brother’s room, and burst into tears. Tears not of remorse, but of terror. We scared him. But not as badly as he scared us.
Driving to writing group I called my dad. “So apparently your grandson has a word of prophesy spoken over him: he’s not meant to die tonight.” My dad groaned repeatedly as I told him the story. I was able to laugh about it some, and we joked about how Judah probably has an Old Testament-sized fleet of angels guarding him.
But then my mom called me back and left me a message — and the gravity of the situation hit me. She did not laugh; she was really upset. I started to realize what could have happened that night, on a very typical night, right outside of my bathroom.
Lord, thank you for your protection. And thank you for being in the minute details. And please give thanks to the angels who guard my son: I don’t know what you’re paying them, but it’s gotta be good.