It was the night before my oldest son went to school, and the last thing on my mind was my husband’s safety. He was where he has been most nights for the past few months--locked away in the outside metal building he’s been working to transform into office space so he can work from home a few days a week.
What could be safer than an empty, locked building?
Inside, I padded barefoot into the boys’ room and covered Wyatt again with the starry universe blanket he is ever kicking off. His body rose and fell with the pattern of a deep, peaceful sleep.
A kindergartner, yes, but this was my little boy. In repose, he looked so small, awakening memories of that two-year-old I used to crawl into bed with for a happily-wasted half hour of snuggles each day after nap time.
This young boy still needed my protection, my daily, hourly, sometimes every minute guidance.
I leaned in and pressed my head into his shoulder, breathed in a sweet mixture of shampoo and little boy sweat. This was what I would be sending off into uncharted waters in just a few short hours. I'd had the lilting excited voice and happy smile glued on permanent for weeks. Sleep would be difficult tonight.
Back in my bedroom, my mind was trying to focus on anything but the morning to come. I opened my ladies’ Bible study book and succeeded, quickly discovering I had exchanged one all-consuming thought for another. Exploring the intricacies of prophecy from first three chapters of Ezekiel were a good choice to replace my mind and heart’s ache.
At half past eleven, I phoned husband to turn in for the night and then went back to my studies. I felt the house open to receive him but wasn’t prepared for the harrowing tale he brought along.
"It's a good thing I was wearing my safety glasses," he chuckled nervously, shifting from one leg to the other as he recounted why he was a few minutes late.
While making “one last cut” of a 2x4 with his compound miter saw, the typical routine of drop and cut turned surreal as the saw's housing suddenly snapped without warning.
The rotating metal teeth kept grinding round at high speed, first slicing into the saw's metal arm. It continued to mete out destruction, chewed the board into four pieces before throwing chunks of wood directly at my husband and around the building. One speared the twelve foot high roof above. Slowly, the thin metal blade ground to a stop.
There had been danger. Husband's heart still beat hard from the adrenaline. Yet, God had spared him.
My mind returned to years before when husband hadn't been so blessed to escape harm. After Hurricane Katrina, a brushy limb from a falling tree had kicked the chainsaw's still-rotating blade up off the ground and into his calf, causing permanent nerve damage that he lives with even today.
It's one of those questions for the mystery file--why did God allow my husband to be saved from injury one time yet not the other? I hope one day to know the why.
It's also one of those events that reminds me of how even things I think are safe--like my children staying home with me each day versus going out into the world to attend school--they're really not.
Nothing is safe unless God deems it so.