My hands are still shaking as I write this to you. I just ran an errand to the nearby grocery store for milk and shampoo. Something we all do a couple times a week . . . grab milk, bread . . . as I drove down the two-way main parkway in my subdivision, which has no sidewalks and is a family neighborhood, a two-year old girl wearing only a diaper and a pair of men’s flip-flops walked up to my moving car saying “Daddy?”
I could only think of the cars driving on the road that very moment and how hard it was to see a tiny baby in bright sunshine and during rush hour. She couldn’t tell me her name, age, or point to her house. I left my car in the middle of the road literally and tried to appear calm as I took her hand. I resisted the urge to pick her up fearing she’d be scared or her (surely nearby) family would think I was taking the child. As I knocked on door after door, either nobody answered or the folks didn’t know her.
One neighbor grabbed his phone and called the authorities as we kept the child safe in his front yard. Before the police came the family finally found us. They lived around the corner and everyone thought everyone else was with the baby, but one went to toss the laundry into the dryer, one was doing homework, one was preparing to head to work, and the child was far from the house very quickly. Two year olds slip away so easily. They showed no signs of being neglectful parents and siblings, they simply turned away for just a moment. The instant I led her out of the street a car came zooming down the street just where she stood.
The timing of my being in that spot at that time was all the Lord’s doing. This was not the way I planned my day. Again, her family were known to others in the neighborhood who came out wondering what was going on. They are just like you and me. They are good people. A tragedy could have happened if the Lord had not intervened.
None of us want to be overprotective or nagging with the ones we care for, but PLEASE I beg of you, take this to heart. I would never have thought it could happen near my house, my neighborhood . . . it can happen anywhere. Thanks be to God for His giving me His eyes and for His protection for this baby. I am still stunned.