Or so he thought.
Last night I had one of the more terrifying experiences in my life. It was about 10:15 pm and my wife went into our master bathroom. I was at the desk in our bedroom (connected to the bathroom) reading on my computer. As she went in she looked over to the textured, translucent window in the bathroom thinking she saw something move and noticed someone looking in, or attempting to at least. She yelled out one of those volume-controlled, startled, terrified yells, and said, “There’s a man in the window!” but didn’t say it loud enough that he heard her, because he stuck around.
It had not quite registered in my mind what she yelled initially. I just thought it was a bug, maybe a scorpion or tarantula or something a little worse than the normal roach, but not some guy in the window. Sitting at the desk, with my back turned away from the window, I quickly turned around and saw the guy. Because the glass is textured you can’t see people clearly looking from the outside-in, but you can see colors, shapes, etc. So he really couldn’t see a lot. But the closer to the window you are, the better you can see people. And so we clearly saw him standing there trying to do some peepin’.
So I quietly hurried Courtney into Grayson’s room, got my trusty wooden bat, called 911, and quietly walked back and forth from Grayson’s room to the bathroom where he was looking in. I didn’t want to startle him and make him scoot off, but wanted him to possibly stick around until the police got there so they could grab him. Quite afraid, I watched him from a distance just to make sure he wasn’t moving to another part of the house to break in. He would move toward the window for a bit, trying to look in, then slowly back away and disappear to where I could no longer see if he was there. Then he would slowly reappear again. He did that on and off for 20 minutes or so. Cannot get that image out of my head, because remember, the glass is textured so I couldn’t quite make his face out. It’s the thing horror movies are made of. A faceless perpetrator.
He stuck around the whole time until the cops finally got there. It took them way too long. I find it odd many (not all) cops are so quick to pull you over and then when you are the one who demands their undivided attention (for something way more important than a speeding ticket), it takes forever for them to get to you, because … well, they are pulling people over (yes it’s an assumption). I digress. Once they got there, the guy obviously saw their flashlights and he took off. They searched the yard and saw no one. Argh. I have no idea what his intentions were, if he’ll come back or do the same thing to someone else, or worse.
After that was over, not feeling quite safe at our house, we took off to stay at a friends house for the night, though certainly not sleeping well.
So what have I learned from this? I really have no control over my life or what the hearts of others are up to. I like to think I have the reigns many times, and I don’t. But God does have control over all the aforementioned things, including the guy in the window, as well as likely demonic involvement bringing something about to cause fear. In Exodus we see God hardening the heart of Pharoah to not let the people go for the purpose of making His name great. God even says to Moses that is His intention and design behind it. Is that not the case with the window gazer? In Job, we see that Satan must ask permission from God before he carries out his wicked deeds against Job, implying that God allowed it by His own wisdom and knowledge, using it for His own purposes and glory. Is that not true of this event as well? What we sinful humans mean for evil, God means for good (Genesis 50:20).
We love to say “God is in control” as a cliche phrase thrown about in our Christian culture bubble and yet the implication and application of that truth which we so often never consider is that the Lord sovereignly oversaw every aspect of what occurred last night and uses it for His glory and our good. He had design in it. The design of it is for His glory and our participation in it, and that is supremely comforting. And Jesus and Paul made clear that His glory and power shines the brightest in weakness and suffering. The faceless window gazer, my reactions, all of it we’re under Christ’s sovereign, almighty reign, for this one purpose: glory.
A strong knowledge of God’s absolute, meticulous sovereignty and loving-goodness to His people, particularly as articulated in Romans 8, is what kept me anchored during a terrifying experience. I considered the possibility that I might die protecting my family and the knowledge that He who gave His Son for my peace will also with Him give me all things (Romans 8:32) is the very thought that gave me rest during that time, though I was still a scared, frail human complete with imperfections.
Christ didn’t just watch all of this from afar, as if He couldn’t have stopped it in an instant. He was right in the thick of it, just like He was when I was younger and my family was falling apart at the seams. Just like then, last night He protected us and yet allowed us to undergo something frightening and potentially violent to cause my family to trust the King of Glory, Jesus. And it is through that experience last night that I have been soaking up His fellowship and presence, as well as doing what I can to make sure, as much as possible, that this doesn’t happen again, though as I said, things are literally out of my hands and in His.
With that aside, what’s next? Well we got a shade for the window, as you can see above, and … well you can imagine what I’m getting next: