the face in the window

It was pouring rain. I mean, pouring.

My daughter Kayden wasn’t old enough to be out of the car seat, but she could talk. I think maybe she was 3 or 4. We were driving my trusty white Ford Taurus on a road with no margin. Meaning, I couldn’t pull to the right or the left without depositing myself in a deep ditch. Trust me, this information is important for later.

I was in a hurry to get to school and my windshield was blurred from the constant barrage of rain. That means I was a teeny tiny bit late to notice that there the red brake lights on directly in front of me.

Now, probably the best idea would have been to hit my own brakes, but for some reason I decided to swerve dramatically to the right. Yep, this means I found myself deep in a wet, muddy, ditch.

Kayden was terrified. In fact, she’ll tell you to this day exactly what it felt like to be in that ditch. She will never forget it. Because as soon as we landed there, the car started to fill with water. It had been raining for some time, and the ditch was already sopping up the rain at rapid rates.

So cell phones were “eh” at the time and I found myself trying to problem solve with both hands on the wheel and both feet already under water. And then there was a knock on the window.

My friend, Kert, the school security officer and a police officer for the city of Columbus, happened to be a few cars behind me when I made the really intelligent choice to swerve my way into the ravine.

The moment I saw his face, I knew everything was going to be okay. I didn’t know what to do, but he did. I felt out of control, but I knew he would quickly have it under control.

Here’s what’s crazy. Somehow, he got me and Kayden out of the car and into his patrol car. He got both of us to school and arranged to have my car towed out of the ditch. The rest of that story is blurry to me. But I’ll never forget his face in the window.

In fact, I’m not sure I remember any of that story correctly. All I know is the calm I feel when I think of my friend Kert. To this day, he is one of my heroes. He was there in a moment of need, a real friend.

In 2 Chronicles 20:12, the Israelites were in their own ditch of sorts. There was an army getting ready to destroy them and they were a little like me, in a ravine with no place to hide. But I love what they said in that crazy scary moment:

“For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

They knew where to look.

It can be overwhelmingly possible to be distracted by everything around you. The car filling up with water, the kid crying in the back seat, your feet soaked, and the windshield blurry. But if you look at the face of the guy rescuing you, everything else can disappear. If you trust the guy with the right tools to save you, it will all turn out.

There were still some issues with the car and there was definitely trauma to help Kayden through, but I trusted the right guy in the midst of an emergency. And even though that was over 10 years ago, I am still learning that very lesson.

I have one audience. The one guy who can help me in the midst of my crisis. But I have to keep my eyes on Him instead of the distractions all around me. He is the one who can give me peace in the storm. He is the only one who matters.

Just like that face in my window.

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