The old man said, "Peace be to you. I will care for all your wants; only do not spend the night in the square." So he brought him into his house, and fed the donkeys; they washed their feet, and ate and drank. Judges 19:20-21 NRSV
We all want to feel safe.
That is why we live in gated communities, send our kids to private schools, get the security guard to walk us to our cars at work, put pepper spray on our key ring and a loaded pistol in our glove compartment. We take karate and self-defense classes. We shred anything with our address, don't open email from strange senders, and put child protection parameters on our internet access. We do background checks on employees, babysitters, and sometimes potential dates. Our passwords must be at least eight characters long and contain both letters and numbers (case-sensitive, of course). We hand over our bags at the airport, stripping ourselves of all unnecessary outerwear, and submit to metal detectors and searches. We don't carry our pocket knives into the courthouse and our kids better not bring any unusual utensils for lunch. In fact, their backpacks are clear and their lockers are searched regularly. We wear plastic gloves to serve food, provide medical care and take up the offering.
We want to be safe.
But safety is relative. There is always one more thing to guard against, to protect ourselves from or to keep from getting hurt. There is no end to the things we can do to try to keep ourselves safe.
Certainly, invite them in and offer hospitality, old man. But don't think you can really keep these visitors safe.
God, do you really want us to be safe? Or would you rather us be safe in your arms and with your spiritual protection? Maybe you want us to take more risks for your sake. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Question of the day: What is one thing you have done today that could be considered a risk?
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims