Dodging bullets…


I’m usually on the lookout for life lessons that spring up along my path on a day-to-day basis. As I’ve mentioned before – nuggets of inspiration are everywhere.

I found a nugget several years ago on Saginaw Street in Flint, Michigan. Just as I was about to enter a pawn shop with my two young sons, Derick and Aaron, I heard a commotion behind us. When I turned to see what was happening, I saw a guy with a lady who was carrying something that looked like a piece of stereo equipment. The commotion was caused by another guy with a gun who appeared to be trying to get an unobstructed shot at the guy with the lady. Here’s the curious part: the guy with the lady was using the lady as a human shield to protect himself from the guy with the gun.

I realize there are a lot of guys these days that are having trouble becoming men. Although we’re designed to be warriors who protect our wives, too often we fail—miserably. I admit, I judged the guy hiding behind his woman. I judged him for not having the cojones to protect his woman, and to take a bullet for her if it came down to either him or her.

But then I got a glimpse of myself in this cowardly guy’s pathetic behavior. It’s always easier to see the foolishness in someone else than it is in our selves. We become so accustomed to our own stench of hypocrisy we no longer notice the odor.

While I’ve never used Rose as a human shield in a literal sense, I’ve failed to protect her in other ways. I’ve missed opportunities to be her valiant warrior—to shield her from the onslaught of the “enemy.” Not always, but more often than I care to admit. Since Rose has a generous heart of forgiveness, she has never held my gaffes against me. I’m grateful for that. So grateful that I’m compelled to do a better job of protecting her when the next opportunity arises—and I’m certain it will. There’s a part of me that welcomes the challenge. It will be an opportunity to lean on my Strength and my Shield…

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” ~Psalm 28:7

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