I was with a guy that knows how to fight. Training in the boxing ring, personal combat training, and extended time at the shooting range have left skills deep within him that he cannot forget. On the few occasions that I have seen them emerged, I have been left with feelings of thankfulness from having been protected and fear. On this night we were looking to catch up with others, following vague Jakarta directions.
As we talked with a couple of waitresses on how to get from dinner to the destination, they pointed out that it was a couple of blocks away.
“We will walk.”
“No, we do not advise that. Take a taxi.”
“It is less than 3 minutes.”
“Yes. Take a taxi.”
The short taxi ride perplexed both of us until we turned the corner onto the short section where our destination was located. The road was unlit, even though we were technically still in the city. The road was empty of every living being, the two exceptions being stray dogs in the shadows. This was not somewhere that anyone would want to be alone.
“Let’s call it a night and go home.”
“We are here, let’s see if we can find them.”
“I do not feel good about this. It is not safe.”
I respected his strength, instincts, and abilities to defend himself. Supporting evidence could be seen on the goose bumps on my arm. Every part of me agreed.
“What if we stayed together, avoided every shadow, and walked in the middle of the road?”
As we stepped out, I could taste my heart.
There are times when I wish this experience on others. I catch myself spitting David’s wish; “Make their road lightless and mud-slick, with God’s angel on their tails.” (Psalm 35.6)
On good days, I remember my fear. I do not wish this on anyone, unless it is the only answer. I offer a silent prayer; “God, please, you decide. Life is too short to spend time here. I want to walk in the light.”