Tuesday, January 15, 2013

No Weapon

If you’re a fan of American football you probably watched this past Saturday’s exciting game between the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos.  It’s no secret that I like both teams.  However this year I’ve had a special and very personal reason to cheer for the Baltimore Ravens. Purple is the the official color of Alzheimer’s Awareness.  If you’ve been following my posts on Facebook you know that my recently deceased mom suffered from dementia brought on by Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus. If not diagnosed and treated early NPH progress in the same manner as Alzheimer’s Disease.

If you caught the post game reaction of Raven’s linebacker Ray Lewis you probably heard him repeat the phrase, “No Weapon”,  “No Weapon”.  If you’re familiar with the Bible you know what he was referencing.  However, for those of you who aren’t, the phrase comes from the Bible book of Isaiah, Chapter 54, verse 17 which reads: “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me,” saith the Lord.”

That scripture, along with Psalm 91 are two of the passages that many Christian hold near to their hearts because of their promise of protection.  And that leads me to share a not so amusing thing that happened to me yesterday.

You've heard the saying the "the devil is always busy" well it's true.    Yesterday, I had to go to Philadelphia City Hall to the begin the process of probating my Mom's estate.  Of course “estate” is a technical term that in no way represents net worth.  Thankfully, I did not go alone.  One of my Mom's former co-workers, another retired school teacher, who has been a source of support for me this past month, went with me. 

When we arrived at City Hall, we passed a young woman in the corridor and asked for directions.  The room we were looking for was actually 180 but i had looked up the information online and remembered 801, instead.  When I asked the young woman for directions to Room 801, she walked us around a corner and used her access key to open a security door to an employee elevator. We said thank you, she walked away, and the door closed behind her.  The area in which we were waiting was a poorly lit area about the size of a large storage closet.  By God's grace while we were waiting for the elevator two other City Hall employees entered from a door that led outside the building.  When my Mom's friend and I got on the elevator, they informed us that there was no 8th floor. We also discovered that had we been left alone in that elevator area, it would have taken a security key to open the door from which we had entered.  Therefore, if my Mom's friend, an elderly woman, and I had been the only ones in that elevator area we would have been locked in there until an employee came to open that door. 

 I will not attempt to guess why the first City Hall employee, a young woman in her 20s, would lead two other women into a poorly lit, remote area of the building, knowing that she was leading us astray.  Maybe the young woman thought that I was joking.  I was not. I don't play like that.  Maybe the competitveness of football fanaticism is gettng out of control. Maybe it was a sick joke.  Or, maybe she didn't know her way around the building anymore that we did.  I'll never know.

Was I angry? No.  I was very concerned about my mom’s friend, who was only there doing a tremendous favor by accompanying me on this painful but necessary task.   We did eventually find our way to the correct office and like, Ray Lewis, all I can say is “No Weapon”. I’m just grateful that things worked out as they did. 

Of course, Ray Lewis was just talking about a game.  I’m talking about life.

As the Bible also says: “It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.” -- Luke 17:2

Later yesterday evening, an Amber Alert was issued for a missing 5 year old who was taken from her school by an unknown woman. If that was a hoax too, it’s not funny.  There was a time that I would have never thought that anyone who consider doing something like that as a practical joke.  The anguish any person must feel to have a missing loved one could never be humorousBut these days, who knows.  All I can do is pray for this little girl's safe return to her family.

At the end of the day, I wonder if that City Hall employee took a moment to think about her actions towards two strangers who were only looking for directions.

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