When my son was little we had a family joke about baby-proofing. We called it Michael-proofing. Because baby-proofing was never enough. We moved to a new town around his third birthday. Before that we lived in the country in the middle of a bunch of farms, on a busy road. I think he was a little under two years old when Michael-proofing took on a whole new meaning.
My friend Colleen and I were watching a movie while Michael napped. I heard the doorbell ring and peeked out the window but didn't see anyone. It rang again so I walked into that part of the house and the front door was shut. With a chair pushed up to it. And the little doorknob safety cover on the floor. And the deadbolt undone. And the chain lock open.
I threw open the door to see my diaper clad toddler sitting on the bench next to the door and ringing the doorbell over and over. And laughing. All the while cars rushing by just yards from where he was perched. My heart sinks when I think of what might have happened.
My visiting friends used to laugh and ask us if we thought we lived in the 'hood because we had locks all up and down the door there. We used to say that we weren't trying to keep people out, just trying to keep one in.
This same child, at four years old, opened his bedroom window and tossed out his roller skates. Climbed out the window, put his skates on and eventually came to the side door where he knocked to get back in. Again, on a very busy road. I think he kept angels working overtime.
The thing is, you just never know what a kid is going to do and what they'll think up next. It isn't that they aren't afraid, it's that they haven't learned what to fear.
Last weekend I was doing a demo job at a store in the mall adjacent to a fenced in play area (ball pit and jungle gym). I had a clear view of the whole area. Halfway through my shift I heard a woman yelling, "Let go, Betsy....Betsy, LET GO!" and I looked to see a little one, about four years old. She'd grabbed hold of the handrail on the escalator, from the outside and was beginning to ascend. Up, up, up. Mom had her foot at one point and then lost contact. Mom is yelling. The other parents in the play area were starting to panic. Betsy hung on for dear life.
She made it about halfway up when a woman on the escalator, about four steps down from where Betsy was, came to her rescue. She grabbed hold of Betsy and gently pulled her over to safety. Mom tore up the escalator and had Betsy in her arms moments after she'd reached the second floor. And then the rescuer was gone.
I've wondered since then if that woman was an angel. I may never know, but I've thanked God time and again since then that all I witnessed that day was a clever child who got in over her head before she realized it.
How many times do we as adults do the same thing?
And God is always there, waiting to rescue us. All we have to do is call out to Him.