Two days after Christmas, my husband and I were finally sleeping soundly in our upstairs bedroom after the big push to get things done and then the medical crisis with his mom on Christmas Eve. It felt so good to finally be getting a good night's sleep. But it didn't last. At about four o'clock in the morning, he suddenly jumped out of bed, waking me up. I asked him what he was doing, as I watched him pull on his jeans. He said, "someone is knocking at the door".
Then I heard it too. First a soft knocking, then more persistent. Finally, the door bell began ringing...not just one or two times, but on and on, and loudly. Someone was definitely wanting to wake us up!
I think I was quite a bit more intuitive than my husband at that moment. I begged him not to answer the door. I knew at once it was someone trying to see if anyone was home...I tried to tell him this is the way a burglar would do it...knock softly at first to see if a dog would bark, then knock very loudly to make sure if anyone was at home, they would wake up and answer the door. If not, they would proceed to try to break in.
But it was too late. In his half-asleep state, he went down the stairs and peeked through the sheer curtain on the sidelight window. The man on the stoop had his back to the door, and looking out into the winter darkness, my husband honestly thought the persistent person was a relative we knew was coming into town for our extended family Christmas party later that day. (I knew they had already arrived in town the day before, but he didn't!) As I stood frozen in our bedroom, with the phone in my hand, my husband disarmed our alarm system and swung open our front door.
The man had his story well rehearsed. He said he was looking for a teenage girl, giving a name. He pointed to an SUV that was parked in front of our house, saying it belonged to the girl's father. My husband finally became awake enough to realize the hoax that he had just fallen prey to, and shut the door and locked it with the deadbolt. I was vacillating between paralyzing
fear and downright anger at him for not listening to me and putting us in danger!
I went to a window and watched as the man, who had actually parked his car in our driveway, backed out and headed around our cul-de-sac, with his headlights turned off. As he came back towards our house, I saw him flash his lights and then the parked SUV started up and followed him out of the neighborhood. At that point I knew for sure my intuition was correct, and I insisted we call the police.
I shudder to think of all the "what ifs". This is the third time in our 33 years of marriage that we have been physically protected (that we know of) from an intruder. Our first two houses were both broken into, but we were not at home at the time, thankfully. The first time it happened, we were just newlyweds and didn't have much of anything. I had come home from work to find our door open in the middle of a very cold winter, and I naively walked right in, only to find our little house in much disarray. I actually ended up going to court as a witness in that case, as two men working together had broken into about 200 homes in our area and had been caught. When we lived in our second house, a neighbor boy broke in one day when he had too much time on his hands, being suspended from school. Our damaged things were later found in a field behind our house. But that didn't ease the awful sense of personal violation we felt, knowing a stranger had been rummaging through our upstairs bedroom closets.
So 14 years ago when we built the home we are living in now, we had an alarm system installed and we do use it faithfully. We actually got a free installation, and we pay less than $20 a month for the service. It really gives me a lot of peace of mind. I highly recommend getting a simple system.
Because we do use the system all the time, we've had a lot of laughs over the years over our false alarms, but those are stories for another time. Our local police department arrives quickly if the alarm goes off, and, God bless them, they have not been deterred by our occasional false alarms.
I wish my husband would have been more alert to the potential danger he put himself and me in that early morning by opening the door to a stranger at a very odd hour. But I do understand how he was caught off guard because he was half asleep.
This whole episode reminds me of a spiritual application. We are told in Scripture to always be on the alert, because we have an enemy who prowls around, seeking to devour us! We live in dangerous times, spiritually speaking. We must not let ourselves be lulled into a kind of spiritual slumber, but we must be wise and guard our hearts.
There is a situation in our extended family that has me emotionally reeling right now. I can't even go into it at this time. But it concerns a family member who is getting involved in something that is not only illegal in most states, but totally out of bounds from a Christian perspective. I have had to draw a line in the sand as to where I stand concerning this. I would appreciate your prayers in the coming days for my own spiritual protection and for my ability to be Christ-like in all I say and do, and most of all for wisdom and discernment. I want to be Christ's light in a dark world, but I cannot afford to compromise everything I have staked my life on and be lulled into responding in a way that would make it appear that I can condone this situation. My spiritual alarm system has gone off, and I must be wise. My family has never been up against anything quite like this before. I'm praying constantly for the people involved. This is by far a more unwelcomed intrusion in our family than the man at our door.
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." I Peter 5:8