Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Any Customer Service in a Storm

If doesn't happen very often, my almost 12 year old son actually wanting a dress shirt, so Jeff and I madly rifled through stacks of bright yellow polos, hoping to find the right size. From above the boys' department came a man's voice informing customers that a tornado was approaching, and we were all "requested" to take shelter in ... Customer Service! Where else?

For a fleeting moment, Jeff had that "Let's get out of here" look in his eyes, but he saw my "Better safe than sorry" look, and we headed to Customer Service. After a few minutes of reading funny quotes on toddler t-shirts next to the safe corner filled with a variety of customers, the man's voice returned to tell us we would need to stay put for another 45 minutes. Some groaned (Yes, we did.), some got in line to pay for purchases, some went to the restroom, some sat down on the floor, and others bought toys to give to children they expected to become bored. One man nearby started passing out snacks and rationing a Gatorade to family members as if it was their last meal. I guess he didn't want to blow away on an empty stomach. Periodic announcements told us that we were to stay put. Everyone whipped out cell phones to get news from the outside world...

We got a text telling us that a friend of ours had just been turned away when trying to get INTO the department store. Must be some legal reason for that. I noticed he had on a new tie Easter morning, so another department store must've taken pity on him. We sat under a row of shirts and talked about whether or not we were really safe.... wind whipped through the drop panel ceiling, people leaned on large mirrors (breaking glass, people!) beside us, and the lights flashed on and off. We really didn't know if we were in a safe shelter or not. Jeff looked at his watch. I made mental plans for covering the kids with piles of sweatpants in case the roof came off. My middle schoolers would've loved that.

Sometimes life feels like that. We realize that a storm has arrived, and we dodge into the first shelter we find. It may be a friend, a substance, a habit, or a distraction. At some point, the wind picks up, our distress grows, and we look around, wondering if we chose wisely. There's only one really safe shelter in a storm.

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'" Psalm 91:1-2

Looking for encouragement that God wants to be your keeper and protector? Read Psalm 121 and be encouraged!

Not just any old "Customer Service" in a storm, but God's divine help. Next time the wind blows in my life (that was today ...) I'm going to rest in knowing that I am in a safe shelter.

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