My father fought in Korea, the forgotten war, except for the men who fought in it. Post-traumatic stress would define his life and our household.
Rare were the moments when I felt loved, protected and secure. A hurricane that hit our Brooklyn neighborhood was one exception. My father was determined to take on the storm and, after a heated argument with my mom, decided to take me with him.
He put me in his old army fatigues which were ten times my size but which were the perfect fit for the occasion. Out we went into the storm with hundred-mile-per-hour winds howling all around us and rain hitting us from every side.
For once in my life, however, I was not afraid. In fact, the memory is a bright spot in my otherwise sad and desolate childhood.
The reason is clear. My father was protecting me, covering me with his clothing, walking with me and gripping my hand tightly with ferocity and strength.
I knew no harm would come to me on that wet and windy night because my father would not allow it. He had worn those army fatigues in battle and now he was battling for my protection. For one brief moment in time, I was safe in the storm.
Years later, I came to understand that it was God’s protection that I longed for. We all long to be safe, to be covered, and to be protected from the storms of life. Only God can do that completely and I am so grateful that He does.
“Say this: God — You are my refuge. I trust in You and I am safe,” Psalm 91:1 (The Message).