Melinda rolled over and checked the digital clock. It was 2:03 a.m. Her husband, who was working third shirt, had left for work hours ago.
Her mind traveled through the day’s events.
She had splattered more harsh words on Tom about the tire that was leaning against the shed. The tire itself was good, but it didn’t fit either of their cars. She should have gotten her hands dirty, rolled it into the shed, and forgotten it.
After their first explosive argument, Tom had taken the tire to a city-wide tire recycling drive. He waited an hour in line during the heat of the day. Since their tire was still on the rim, the city wouldn’t accept it. Out of sorts by then, Tom took the tire home and leaned it back against the shed.
Melinda was furious! It messed up the view of her flower garden, but it wasn’t worth the hassle it was causing in their marriage.
You’re right, Lord. I should apologize for my brusqueness. Our relationship is more important than that tire.
Melinda slipped out of bed and knelt to finish praying aloud. "Father, I put this matter of the tire in Your hands. You handle it any way You choose."
Melinda got back into bed and was almost asleep when she heard a noise outside their bedroom window. She froze in place.
She was sure of it! Someone was out there. Was he going to break in?
Stealthily she got up and moved closer to the sound.
Barely touching the blinds, she saw the shadow of a man inches away from her. His thin shadow fell across the stone walk, appearing nine feet long.
Oh, if only Tom was home now!
Melinda got control of herself. She knew making noise was important to prevent break-ins.
She slipped into her bathrobe and turned on a light.
Running to the kitchen, she got out two pans and banged their bottoms together. More pans fell out of the cupboard escalating the sound. Dover, their shih tzu, raced into the room and began to bark in chorus to the ruckus.
Melinda stopped and grabbed the phone to call the police.
Quickly she described what she had seen, gave the dispatcher her name, address, and telephone number. “No, I don’t want to be contacted,” she concluded.
As she hung up the phone, she was sure the man must be gone by now.
Just in case, Melinda picked up the pans again and gave them three more bangs near the kitchen door.
Then she marched around inside the house, banging full force several times near each window. Dover, at her heels for every step, continued his barks for heightened emphasis.
Afterward, she and Dover paced the floor while she wondered what she should do next. Melinda’s heart was pounding. When white spotlights, followed by red flashings, began flowing across her windows, she knew the police had arrived. Finally, she felt safe.
Still she couldn’t settle down.
First, it was the argument. Then this.
I need to still my heart before the Lord.
"Father, I give this matter to You just like I gave the argument to You. I know You are in control. Thank You for the safety You have given Dover and me. Please place two angels outside to guard our house; post one in the front and one in the back. Amen."
Back in the bedroom, Melinda placed Dover on the bed, dropped her robe nearby on the floor, kicked off her slippers, and crawled back under the covers. She pulled the rose-colored quilt up close to her face and shifted into a comfortable position.
It was in God’s hands now. Quietness ruled her soul, and she drifted off to sleep to the sound of the rise and fall of a cricket choir singing a lullaby.
An hour and a half later and a couple of blocks away, two officers in city blues were on the radio.
"67, any sign of the man over there?"
"Negative. He didn’t come out on this side. Must have ducked into a house or garage somewhere between us."
"We’ve looked long enough. We won’t find him now. Let’s go back to the station and file a report. Our shift’s about over."
"I just don’t understand it. Shoulda been an easy catch. When I spotted him, he was rolling an auto tire with the rim still on it."
The neighborhood was peaceful as the sun rose that morning.
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