It started with an unanswered phone call to my husband. I was on my way home from a meeting and wanted to ask him a few things. "Oh yeah, he's got a lunch meeting!", I remembered. Ten minutes later I passed by an area of town that was completely blocked off by eight sheriff's vehicles with lights blinking. There was a fire engine and an ambulance with it's doors open. "What's going on over there?", I wondered aloud. Then I saw it.... first my husband's work truck.... then his empty back-hoe. My heart sank. I instantly put on the brakes and began to look for a place to turn my truck around. I tried his number again. No answer. "Dear God, let him be O.K.", I prayed. I know that whenever someone hits a natural gas line, the fire department has to come in case of an explosion....but the ambulance with it's doors open....the road closure.... the sheriffs? I started to shake uncontrollably. A million things went through my head...mostly panic. I kept trying to reassure myself that everything was fine, but I was battling to take every thought captive. Our three perceptive kids were in the backseat, and I didn't want them to worry about their daddy.
I whipped around a back road and approached two sheriffs blocking the street. One of the gentlemen approached my window. I tried to compose myself, disguising my worry and trepidation with a nervous smile. " Hi, uhhh, my husband works for the gas company, and his truck and back-hoe are right in the middle of that mess over there. Is everyone alright? My husband won't answer his phone." The officer smiled a reassuring smile. "Yes ma'am, someone just dug up a gas line and your husband's over there saving the day, that's all. He probably just didn't have time to answer the phone." I let out a deep breathe. Relief flooded over me, and I could feel the color rising through my neck and cheeks. My ears felt hot. Suddenly I felt ridiculous and needed to explain my logic to the complete stranger. "You see, it's just unusual for the ambulance to be on the scene too, and when I saw the back doors open, I thought someone had been injured. Then when I saw the road blocked, I thought it must have been really bad." He chuckled. "The ambulance is just a precaution, ma'am."
I thanked him and turned the truck toward home. It took every ounce of my being to keep from crying tears of relief, but I didn't want my kids to wonder what was wrong with mommy. I thought about it all in hind-sight. I know that when my husband comes on the scene to repair a blowing gas pipe, the fire department comes in case of an explosion. I know they water the area down to lesson the chance of static electricity igniting the gas in the air. I know that he has to leave all electronic devices, including his phone, in the truck so that they can't ignite an explosion. I know that they have to block off the road so that a running vehicle won't start an explosion. But seeing it all first hand caught me completely off guard. All my logic flew right out the window when I saw the empty backhoe in the middle of the field. He's been in this line of work since we got married, but I just never think about the danger. I never think about the fact that an ambulance always arrives at the scene "as a precaution". Most people don't perform jobs that are so dangerous that there's an ambulance there "just in case". That really got to me.
I kiss him good-bye and tell him that I love him before he leaves for work every morning. I pray for his safety every day. What I don't do is dwell on the fact that he has a hazardous job. I shove the danger, and the risks way back into depths of my brain. But seeing him in an emergency situation first-hand, brought it all to the forefront. Everything I hate to think about, and more. As much as I love my husband, I know that God loves him even more. He created him, after all. God made him brave, and strong. He made him calm and level- headed in tense situations. He made him adventurous and willing to take calculated risks. He made him everything that I'm not. That's why my husband is a good mate for me. He's all of the things I could never be. He's the half that makes me whole. And that's why I freaked at the thought of something happening to him.
I consider the incident as a good reminder to me. A reminder to never take anything for granted, to never let petty disagreements go unresolved, and to never cease praying for my spouse. Life is indeed uncertain, but it rests in our Mighty God's hands. And there is no better place to be than in the center of God's will. I just need to pray that God gives me the grace to trust HIM more.