“Is it Safe?”

~By Julie Chatfield, Peace Children’s Ministry Director
Every morning I wake at 5:00 a.m.  Without fail, my eyes pop open and I wrestle with the idea of going back to sleep, but only for a moment.  When I’m awake, I’m up so I reach for my phone, check my bank accounts and then peruse Facebook for anything exciting.  I am amazed at the amount of friends on Facebook also awake, hopeful of good will among friends.  I finally roll from the bed, dress for the gym, feed the cats, pour a cup of coffee, and leash our dog Rio for his morning walk.  The morning of Thursday August 8th was just the same, until I saw it.  
I was out the door for the dog walk.  It was dawn, the sun barely up, it smelled like “back to school,”  and the frogs and crickets were chiming in to the air conditioners working to keep our neighborhood cool.  I was noticing the weight of the air, my head down, trying not to step on the pooch, who in his old age walks slowly these days.   And then I saw it, an amazing site.  Billows of glittering, white, pink and golden smoke filled the deep blue sky as the rocket engine dropped back to earth.   It was spectacular and I nearly spilled my coffee to snap the photo.
There was a moment though, where I questioned the view.  Was this sight evidence of hate and power? Was it the start of a news story filled with danger, one to enable the media to infiltrate our minds with more anxiety and stress?  A filter exists now, and expands past billowing smoke in the sky.  I wonder, is it safe?  
Don’t fear, because I am with you;  don’t be afraid, for I am your God.  Isaiah 41:10. 
In spite of the wicked ways of the world, stop and remember God is near.  Stay safe out there everyone.  And might I add, know your exits.