In the letter Ephesians in what we call the 6th chapter St. Paul talks about the Armor of God and that we are to wear it constantly. Then he also says when we have done everything else we need to stand.
This afternoon I was at a Food 4 Less store and I was wandering around trying to remember past Cat food what we needed. Fruit , veggies, buttermilk …you know the drill without the list. (Well, most men know what I am talking about.) So there I am enjoying the air conditioner and really enjoying the cold air off the meat departments’ coolers, when my revelry in the realm of cool air is disrupted by a really angry voice and a whimpering response.
I really do know what it is about me that combination of sounds just upsets me no end. It started long before I was a Pastor in my teens I think. Maybe it is because I am first born and the defense of little brothers is ingrained.
So I start wandering towards the sounds. So here is this young man who is pushing maybe 21 years and here is this young woman maybe a little younger and with a child in the cart and the baby is crying and the young man is angry because the baby is crying . Now I have this line, a restriction for me that I will not physically intervene unless there is going to be violence. So I would allow the young man to rant and rave and stay in the background praying which once they know someone is watching they calm down. But if it begins escalating into him striking her the blow will not occur.
And so this young man crosses the line and he was not going to hit the infant to which he got a loud deep voice commanding “HOLD!”, followed by my presence next to the child.
The guy’s response was screaming, “BUT SHE WON’T SHUT UP!”
“She is afraid of you and since she can’t talk she is crying for help from God and now she has it. So you need to cool off. Go take a walk outside, smoke a cigarette, and calm down. AND then ask yourself this question: am I willing to spend the next 15 years of my life in jail for child abuse.” (Phil, I gave him your card I hope the number is still good. Phil is a friend of mine that helps guys who anger problems. He is really good at what he does.)
The Armor of God gives us the ability to stand in the face of the enemy. It is easy to speak a word and walk away but it is damn hard to speak against the Kingdom of Darkness and when it rises up to challenge your word to Stand Your Ground. I think it is in Revelation that it says that we overcome the enemy by the word of our testimony and the blood of the Lamb and by not loving our lives even in the face of death. The standing part in Ephesians 6 is directly linked to the not loving our lives unto death part.
The end of the Food 4 Less story was that the young man gave the girl a hand full of bills and left to wait outside and the young woman I asked if I could pray with her and she said yes please and so we began to pray when two of her friends who worked there asked if they could join us and I said sure and so in the Isle where all the candles with pictures of all the saints and Jesus were there looking on we had a twenty minute prayer meeting. And the baby never cried once.