When I was six years old we lived in Oklahoma City in a neighborhood where we always kept the doors locked and bolted at night. To get out the back door, Daddy had a special key that opened the dead bolt from the inside.
One night I was awakened suddenly by the sound of thunder, lightning and a torrential downpour. I rushed down the hall toward my parents’ room, but was stopped by billowing smoke and flames coming from the living room. Our house had been struck by lightning.
I had to get out, but how? I couldn’t reach the front door because of the flames, and the back door was locked.
On the verge of panic, I was relieved when in the darkness I felt Daddy’s warm hand leading me down the hall and out the back door to our backyard. As I stood in the pouring rain, his hand let go of mine and he was gone. Frightened, I turned back to the house. There was Mom calling my name, “Macy! Macy!”
“Out here,” I said. She ran out to me, and together we went around to the front, where we found Daddy with Kent, the baby, and my three-year-old sister, Amy.
“You’re safe, Macy,” he said, sighing with relief. Daddy told me that he had tried to get to me, but couldn’t cross the flames. He had not guided me down the hall. He had not unlocked the dead bolt on the back door.
That was twelve years ago, and all these years I’ve never forgotten the warmth of the Hand that led me then, and leads me now, through the dark.
Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.