reality checkHe looked suspicious to me. I sat waiting to pick up my daughter in the crowded church parking lot, but I did park legally for a change. My truck was backed into the tight parking place, which is a necessity for my truck that takes a country acre to turn around.

With my truck waiting for the quick getaway, the tailgate facing south toward the buildings, I had the perfect bird’s eye view of the rest of the parking lot. The sunny Arizona afternoon in late summer didn’t mix well with my senses and the man’s heavy green sweater… not to mention the sweater was button less ugly.

He was a large and wide set man with girth from head to toe and his head wasn’t out of proportion. The church we attend is a big church, one of the biggest in the greater Phoenix area. Those type of large gatherings of people could attract some bad folks. With my daughter as one in the gathering, I was paying even closer attention to details.

The minor hulk of a man, with a green sweater to match, didn’t fit the mold of a terrorist. He was light-haired with a ruddy complexion, but I’ve been duped by others and more times than I can recall along life’s merry way. Not that I want to judge a book by its cover, but in that case misjudging or not using any common sense at all could lead to a lifetime of regret.

I watched the man amble, shifting his weight from one side to the other in excess, as he crossed the parking lot. He walked up beside a nice burnt metallic orange Porsche… maybe putting colors together wasn’t his strong suit… He might have been color blind, but one thing was for sure, the big guy wasn’t a terrorist or a crazy man. And he most certainly did not have a wife…

He paused between the cars with is driver’s door open, I thought for a second maybe he kept his body sized shoehorn in the trunk to help jam his oversized body into the tiny two-seat sports car. He then reached down to the hem of his ugly sweater with hands on opposite sides as he peeled what would surely be the ugly Christmas sweater contest winner over his head, hair flying wildly and reflecting the sun through the hairs the static electricity from the sweater left as a gift while passing them over.

I was watching intently and cautiously until the sweater had been shed… it all came to me in a flash on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the large church parking lot as I waited to pick up my youngest. The cold black pistol in the brown leather holster strapped on the generous side of the man reminded me that the evil world has free access to where some of us go to worship and honor our Father.

That man was there to protect against the bad people in case they attacked the innocent people… Of course the evil people would disagree with my perspective, they believe you and I as Christians and non-Muslims are worthy of death. A reality check that the real world and our enemies have landed…

My heart breaks for my daughters and the younger generations that have to live in a world I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams when I was their age. While I believe our Father is sovereign, I also believe He gives us wisdom to be mindful of our world and the ability to protect that which has been entrusted to us.

Guns in the house of God… I’ll bet you have some thoughts on this… While we still have the right to express them, I’d like to hear yours…