One evening many years ago, I had an appointment with a client in her home. There had recently been riots in her area that were sparked by racial tension. Because I was of a different racial group from those in the neighborhood, many of my friends thought it was not safe for me to venture there alone, especially at night. But I needed to work to support my family, and I felt that the rightness of this activity brought with it the assurance of God's protection.

As I turned into the client's narrow, house-lined street, I began to drive very slowly, looking for her address. As I did this, a large group of young men approached my car and flanked it on both sides, walking with it as I moved down the street. My doors were locked, but one of the young men flipped the handle on the driver's side. In spite of the appearance of danger, I found that I was thinking of the first two words of the Lord's Prayer, "Our Father." I knew this was a reminder that these young men were my brothers and I need not be afraid of them.

I turned my thought from myself, and began to pray for them. "Dear God, please don't let me hurt my brothers with this big car. They are so very close to it." Then I noticed the address I was seeking. I put my turn signal on to turn into the client's driveway, and the young men moved away from the car. I went into the house and conducted my business for several hours. When I came out, the group of young men were across the street, but they didn't approach. I got into my car and left without any unpleasant incident.

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Set upon high places
February 21, 2000

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