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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Never Saw it Coming

Last summer evening my husband and I decided to enjoy the star-filled night sky, relaxing in our bubbling hot tub. It sits on the far northwest corner of our back deck. The deck begins just outside the master suite, then extends east, past the family room, wraps around the corner and ends at the garage. It's a wonderful place to enjoy company, gaze at the mountains or read.

We hung a bird feeder at the far northeast corner of the deck that summer and found delight just watching the finches and sparrows and other bird breeds flock to the fancy bird seed.

After we'd lounged in the hot tub long enough to start becoming prune-like, I stood up and grabbed a towel. Bruce switched off the bubbles and that's when I heard the sound. Rapid click-click-clicks, like when I used to drum my fingers on my school desk in geometry class.
"What is that sound?"
Bruce didn't hear it.
I stared intently into the blackness surrounding us, wishing I'd brought a flash light outside with us.
There it went again: click, click, click, click.
"It's coming from over there," I whispered, pointing to the far northeast corner of the deck.
I climbed out of the steaming water, wrapped the towel around my middle and crept slowly across the deck.
Click, click, click, click, click.
Inspite of the stars, I couldn't even see my hand in front of my face.
Just a foot away from the far east railing, I leaned forward, listening for all my might.
I jumped back quickly when I heard that.
"Bruce, Bruce, hurry up and turn on the light!"
Bruce switched on the light, revealing three big, fierce-looking, and rather annoyed raccoons perched on the wood railing of the deck.
As soon as they were discovered, they turned and scritched rapidly along the railing, down the steps and into the oblivion of a Colorado mountain night.
I laughed nervously. "I guess they were after the bird seed."
Raccoons are cute from a distance, but formidable when threatened.
I said a silent prayer of thanks to God that those critters didn't attack me. I'd never have seen it coming.

Later, I thought about all the other close calls I've avoided in my fifty-plus years. How many other physical and spiritual dangers have I blythely walked close to, around or under, never seeing the potential threat?
Praise God, He sees clearly (and in all directions) in the darkness and can never be surprised by any kind of assault or ambush.

Guess I'll stay close to Him, relying on His "eyes."

"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12)


  1. I could see you, wide-eyed, hands grasped around your towel. Yes, it's true, God orchestrates our safety. Thanks for sharing.

  2. A close call. I'll bet you've got skads of your own to tell, Terri. "He never sleeps, He never slumbers. . . "

  3. That must have been a pretty startling discovery. I would have been shaking for awhile after that encounter.
    So glad God is watching over us or we might not be here on this earth right now. Of course the alternative to not being here is pretty awesome but I'd rather go when it is God's timing for me to go.

  4. Diane, I wish I'd had a camera. After I got over my fright, it would've been fun to have had a picture of them close up.