Have you ever been in a frightening situation and afterwards thought about all the things you should have done? Recently I stopped for a quick meal with a friend before church at a local fast food chain. While we were eating an extremely angry man began shouting at someone. At first we thought it was a disgruntled customer but quickly realized it was a drug deal gone bad.
My first instinct was to get up and run. My friend however said, “no … we can’t move. If he has a gun it might cause him to start shooting.” As I looked around I realized the wisdom in her words. Everyone stood frozen in their spot. I watched a young mother draw her children close and wrap her arms around them.
Even the object of his anger never spoke a word in response. The only voice to be heard was the threatening rant of this stranger who could very well have been the last voice we heard.
He finally left and we all breathed a sigh of relief. In that moment I whispered, “Thank you, Lord for protecting us.” And then the second guessing began … we should have crawled under the table … we should have ran out the emergency exit or into the bathroom, etc. And then it hit me. The one thing I should have done, but didn’t was pray.
I feel very blessed that we walked away from what could have been tragic. I also feel sorrow for the many lives that have been lost in the crossfire of needless violence.
Afterwards the Lord reminded me of David’s prayer, “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.” How comforting to know we are never alone in times of trouble.