Summer is when the tigers began to gather. It is a little known fact that when tigers start to group together they are very hard to see. They like to lurk under beds and in closets so they can pounce. It was starting to get dark, time to venture into their lair. I called to my faithful sidekick, my 3-year-old son Charlie, “Son, it is time. Get the guns, for tonight … we hunt tigers!”
A look of fear passed his face until he saw that we would hunt together. A fierce hunger quickly replaced the fear. He leapt from the couch running to the armory (a cabinet containing the wondrous weaponry that had slain many a tiger in the last few months). Looking at the swords, shields, spears, pistols, and rifles he asked, “What should we get tonight, Dad?”
“We have taken out a lot of the big ones recently; maybe the pistols tonight.”
He smiled pistols were his favorite, selecting a twelve-shot revolver for himself and twin automatics for me.
“Check your ammo,” I said with a grim seriousness. “You don’t want a misfire in there. I hope you bathed tonight. You know they can smell you a mile away if not,” I asked after checking my ammo. “Do you think your Star Wars PJ’s are going to be enough armor or should we get the robe?”
Charlie weighed the options. “We’re good, this is enough.”
“OK then, from here out we need total silence.”
Pressing against the wall, we eased down the long dark hallway. Crouching I motioned him to do the same. The bedroom door was ajar. I motioned for him to stop, pointing at the door. Looking, he took a deep breath, knowing this could only mean one thing, many tigers! Making a sign, I asked if he wanted to abort. Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath. With a fierce look of determination, he shook his head and pointed onward.
Taking positon on one side of the door, he on the other. Motioning I told him we go on the count of three. I roll right and he would dive left. Tightening his grip on the revolver, he nodded.
One… Two… Three…
Diving first, I rolled into a crouch both guns pointed into the closet where the tigers are the thickest, firing four quick shots. Charlie dove left, landing on his belly, firing under the bed (there was always a few lurking there). He looked at me, our eyes met; we knew we would only make it through this if we trusted each other. I fired three more shots into the dark closet then moved across to the other side of the bed (there is a patch of shadow they liked to hide in). Charlie moved to my vacated position, firing a few shots to keep the remaining tigers at bay. Unable to contain his joy any longer at the slaughter of his enemies, he shouted out pumping his fist toward the ceiling!
Realizing he made himself a target for any still alive, a look of fresh fear passed across his face, he was out of ammo. Diving toward him, I landed in front of him, firing the last of my rounds into the closet. A sigh of relief escaped is lips, reloading quickly he sat up propping himself on my shoulder, taking careful aim, took out the last of them.
He sat back heavily. “Thanks dad, I don’t think I could handle so many without your help.”
Shoving my pistols in the back of my belt, I stood and ruffled his hair, then picked him up. “As long as these tigers continue to invade, I will be here. This is not a one-man hunt. I could not have made it without you, either.”
Jesus says that He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Psalm 18:2 tells us that God is our rock, our fortress and our deliverer. It is in Him that we take refuge, our shield, and the horn of our salvation. In essence, He is our stronghold! In this modern day parable, Jesus represents the father and the son is us. When the tigers gather in the darkness, and they will gather, He will stand beside us. He will lead us through to the other side, blazing a trail with grace and mercy!
Pastor Al Weeks, an author, teacher and preacher, is serving in First Baptist Church of Kenai. The folks at FBCK are a warm family of believers committed to speaking the truth in love. Join them Sunday mornings at 10:45 a.m.