Saturday, November 12, 2011

When the Doorbell Rings

It was late, later than you would expect visitors. The children were finally asleep; we cringed as the doorbell rang and looked toward their rooms as the chimes seemed to go on forever. I rushed down the stairs of our split-foyer home as my wife stood at the top hoping the doorbell wouldn’t ring again. The children were still asleep as I pulled back the curtain to see who had rung the bell.

I knew the face, he'd been at church just a few Sunday's before. I opened the door and stepped out hoping to keep the children asleep. Then he turned, I smelt the alcohol on his breathe and met face to face with a double barreled shotgun. He was talking about the war, and those watching from the woods. He was going through flashbacks of the Vietnam War. If I'd start to move the shotgun would correct me as it came closer. I couldn't understand his ramblings. What does he want from me?

My wife was frozen at the top of the stairs. My mind was racing. Why doesn't she go call for help?  I don't want my children to wake up to the sound of this gun. I'm ready for heaven but I want to see them grow up, Lord, I want more time. What am I thinking, I'm a preacher, what should I do, Pray Already!

I remember in the back of my mind, as he rambled on, I prayed. "Lord, I don't know what to do. Let your Spirit speak through me."  Then it happened, words came out of my mouth. "Is that gun loaded?" He looked right through me as my mind started racing again. Was that God or did I just say something really stupid? He looked down at the gun, hit the release, broke the shotgun open, and handed me the two shells. Then he said, "Yea, it was loaded. Before I could take a breath lights flashed everywhere as the sheriff's deputies responded to our neighbors calls about the drunken man with a gun. They were on us in seconds and took him away. My wife came down the stairs as we hugged I asked her why she didn't call for help? She said, "I was afraid if I moved it would be the last time I ever saw you alive."  The children slept through the night not knowing what happened. Although, I wanted to run upstairs snatch them out of bed and hug them till dawn. The last we heard the man was getting help he greatly needed.
When the doorbell rings something is about to happen. The lesson I learned is that God's timing is perfect. Just seconds later and at the flashing of the lights he could have been startled and this story never told. Thank you, Lord; the gun (past tense) was loaded. Sometimes it's a lesson on fully trusting God. Sometimes it's a chance to share a testimony. Sometimes it's just good friends, family and fellowship.  Every time God opens the door he's giving a new opportunity to grow in our faith.  Remember it might just be time to stop and pray.  Who knows what you might say?

Copyright © 2011 Dr. Burt Wilbur

All rights reserved.

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