Good Shepherd

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” – Psalm 23:4

“I’m never gonna ride a motorcycle,” my son, Sam, declared.

“I’m glad,” I replied softly, mustering a smile.

“Please Lord, let it be true,” I said in silent prayer as I hugged Sam across the Emergency Room bed.

“You’re going to be okay, baby,” I reassured, wiping tears from his cheek, “God was watching out for you.”

He nodded.

 Sam had texted me a few hours before asking if he could stay another day at his best friend, Logan’s house. It wasn’t unusual for Sam to spend more than one day with his second family. He loved the rough and tumble of the crew, Logan, his brothers and sister, and usually several cousins. They had been a source of kindness, comfort, and adventure to Sam since we moved to Colorado eight years ago when I was a single mom.

Summer camp. Winter camp. Awanas Club. Flag football. Before school. After school.

Forever friends.

I agreed and carried on with errands.

When the call came from Logan’s mom, I didn’t answer right away. I was wrapping up another call and I assumed it was simply to confirm that she was okay with Sam staying over another night.

She called again.

And again.

“Sam crashed and I think he needs stitches,” she said, frantic, “I’m so sorry this happened.”

A reality-TV cop show crash scene flashed in my mind. Why hadn’t I done something to stop Sam from riding motorbikes?!

Mom guilt heavy.

“I was just headed up that way to get an emissions test near Castle Rock Adventist, so I will meet you there,” I replied.

“Don’t worry, it will be okay,” I said.

Would it be?

Hot tears. I prayed and pressed down hard on the gas pedal.

When I dropped him off the day before, he and the gang jumped on mini Razor motorbikes. I insisted on a helmet. And Sam insisted I let him grow up a little and have fun with his friends.

This ride, he forgot the helmet.

“I had my ball cap on, mom, so I felt something on my head, and I wasn’t thinking. I thought I had the helmet,” he explained.

Isn’t that how it is for us too? We think we’ve got it all together. We walk out into the adventure of the day and, at times, we aren’t prepared.

And God, our Good Shepherd, protects us, guides us, nudges us.  

I can’t say I expected to find hope in this situation. It was scary. It was unexpected. It was out of my control.  

And I realize, God showed up.   

“All he wanted was his mom,” she told me.

And all we needed was our Heavenly Father. Our Shepherd. The One who is always with us.

Eight stitches in his knee and no broken bones. Lessons learned. Thank you, Lord.


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