It is one of my favorite memories of the early years of our marriage. Back then, we lived in southern Indiana, where winters can be brutally cold. (I first introduced you to “our first house” in my post entitled “Responding Rightly to Painful Pruning".)
One winter night, I was awakened by my wife’s frantic tugging on my shoulder. “Mike”, she whispered, “I heard something – downstairs!” Now, this had happened before, so I tried my best to comfort my young wife and assure her that she just “thought” she heard something. I rolled back over, but just before going back to sleep, I heard a distinctive BUMP – seemingly, a noise coming from…the basement. I continued to simply lie there quietly, when – a second time – BUMP. There was no denying it. “Cindy,” I quietly whispered, wondering if she had fallen asleep. “Yes,” she quickly answered. “Uh, did you hear that?” “Yes,” she said…”same noise that I heard earlier, when I woke you…” “Oh,” said I.
In moments like that, a young husband has to man up, and investigate the noise. So, on this chilly night, I got up, barely aware that Cindy had gotten up as well. The first task – check on our baby girl in her bedroom crib. Cindy followed me, walking as close to me as she possibly could, with her hands on my sides, and each step in sync with mine.
Our daughter was fine. So – now, the time had come. I had to check out the source of the noise. I had to open that dreaded white door in our kitchen. The one that led to that dark and creepy basement.
We had to be quite a sight – I must have looked like Inspector Clouseau, the famed comedic detective on the PINK PANTHER series. Our steps – in perfect sync – were slow, judo-like in precision, as we were trying to be as quiet as possible. If indeed an intruder was in the basement, I wanted to preserve the element of surprise!
It seemed like an eternity, those steps from our daughter’s bedroom to the basement door, but we finally reached it. What I didn’t know was this – as we had passed through the kitchen, Cindy had quietly picked up the flashlight that was on the kitchen counter. As I slowly reached for the door handle and felt its touch on my fingers, from behind, Cindy turned on that flashlight – and flooded that door with sudden brightness! I was so startled that I screamed like a little schoolgirl! And since Cindy didn’t know why I was screaming, she concluded that I saw a burglar – and she began to scream too!
It only took a moment to realize what had happened. Then we both started laughing. That moment of fear had quickly turned into a moment of sheer hilarity.
With new courage and resolve, we threw the door open, turned on the basement lights, and finished the inspection. The noise that we had heard must simply have been that kind of sound that happens in the night. Nothing was out of place, all windows secured.
Happily, we returned to our sleep – with a leftover smile on our face after that funny and memorable moment.
Fear itself is that way. It can capture us completely, robbing us of our entire focus. Until, that is, that we remember that He “has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7). When the Lord floods our mind with His peace, the fear is displaced.
Face your fears. And grab your flashlight! And remember that He is with you.
Till next time.
~ Mike Gilland
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