Have you ever been in danger, and unaware of it?
Gloria (not her real name) was a naïve young adult, attending a huge church convention in Huntington, West Virginia with a friend. She and her friend, both teachers in a rural school, arrived at the convention eager to hear the speakers and music, and to connect with old friends from around the nation.
Arriving at the convention center, they parked several blocks away, inserted quarters into the parking meter, and walked to the convention site.
Partway through the afternoon they remembered the meter. Gloria volunteered to get some quarters and walk back to the car to add more time.
That’s where she met danger and didn’t know it.
“Nice day, isn’t it?” Gloria looked up from the meter to see if the remark was intended for her. Next to her stood a middle-aged woman wearing heavy make-up, an expensive dress and a mink stole.
“Oh, sure is,” she said.
“Well, aren’t you the prettiest thing!” cooed the strange woman. “What are you doing here in Huntington, Sweetie?”
“A friend and I are attending a religious convention today,” answered Gloria.
“Where do you live?” asked the stranger.
“In _________,” she answered.
“Well, you’re far away from home, aren’t you?” asked the woman.
“I guess so.”
“I’ve just never seen someone so pretty and wholesome before,” purred the stranger. “Would you like to see where I live? It’s right in that store.”
The woman led Gloria into a large jewelry store and introduced her to the man behind the counter.
“And I live up those stairs,” she motioned to the bewildered girl. Gloria turned and stared at a grand staircase. At the top was an elegant mahogany door. Why would someone live in a jewelry store?
“Oh, I really need to get back to the convention,” Gloria said. But before she left the woman handed her a piece of paper with an address on it.
“You really are a pretty little thing,” she purred, “Be sure and write to me.”
“Okay,” said the girl, and left the store with a sudden feeling of impending evil. What was behind that door? And why did she feel that she would be trapped if she entered it?
A few weeks later she sent a letter to the address on the paper. Thinking the woman had never seen someone untainted by a wild lifestyle, Gloria intended to develop a correspondence to give her a chance to tell about the Savior. The One who could give her a better way of living.
The letter returned, marked, “Undeliverable.”
Becoming older and wiser, Gloria realized she had been given a false address by a criminal posing as a friendly lady on the street. No doubt the stranger was running a house of prostitution, luring slaves for her “business.” One step through the mahogany door would have been fatal.
The writer of the book of Psalms said, “The angel of the Lord encamps around about those who fear him and delivers them.” It certainly was true that afternoon in Huntingdon, as Gloria realized what a narrow escape she had.
Discernment of evil is one gift God gives his children. It worked that day for Gloria and has worked many times since.
How do I know? I was “Gloria.”
Your turn. Have you ever been delivered from danger? Tell us about it below.