In my old macabre times I had often wondered what it would be like to be kidnapped and locked inside the trunk of a car. Planning ahead and thinking rationally in my comfy chair at home, I had easily decided just what I would do in such a case. Of course in my mind, just like in the movies, there would somehow be a sufficient supply of light streaming in; first illuminating my face, so you could see the look of calm fortitude I bore, then turning to show me the appropriately bent nail in the corner, and finally shifting to the back of the lock which would of course be exposed and vulnerable to my expert meddling. I would pop the trunk open and leap out, no matter how fast we were moving, and either hit the ground running or fall fortuitously into a fountain. Jack Bauer would soon be calling me for advice on how to deal with tricky situations!
The reality is quite different, now I know. I am not stretched out or crawling around as if in a queen sized bed, but folded and stuffed in this trunk barely big enough for a laundry basket full of dirty whites. It stinks in here, it’s pitch black and my eyes are playing tricks on me. I ‘see’ shapes and blurs and whitish ghoulish floaters moving back and forth. One arm is stuck behind my back and with my legs jammed against my chest like this I couldn’t retrieve a bent nail out of my pocket if I had one. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” someone said. Bet he wasn’t creased into a car trunk with a jack in the back and carbon monoxide fumes crowding in while two out of control reprobates were taking him to who knows what end! Seems there are greater things to fear, than fear.
With my throbbing head squeezed between one shoulder and the slammed trunk lid, I began to think about how I had gotten here, and how fast it happened. I heard two muffled voices coming from the front of my car, laughing, and saying something about what good sandwiches I made. Sandwiches. There were dozens of them wrapped and boxed in the back seat. All of a sudden, on top of everything else, now I’m starving too!
….Is The Beginning of Wisdom
Friends had warned me of the dangers, but I could not resist my perceived duty to care for the homeless. I had been handing out food on the street and in dark back alleys three nights a week for years, and I was beginning to think my friends were overly cautious. Then tonight two big lugs, obviously not homeless, walked up and when they grabbed a sandwich I knew it was just for show. They had no real hunger, either in manner or voice, and only a naïve meanness in the eye. As I turned and opened my trunk I thought “That, is scary,” but I had all my real fears in order.
In a minute I was banged up, cut up and pushed into the trunk. Yes, I’m bleeding. I don’t know where it’s coming from, but there is a small puddle forming under my hip, and it’s turning cold. The fear of man threatens to overwhelm me, but wisdom fights back.
The car is bouncing over a rougher road now. I feel dust mixing in with the exhaust in my throat and lungs, and someone up front yells, “Right over there!” My head aches and a pain is swelling up from somewhere in my gut. My life may be on the line, but as the car slows down, all I want to do is stretch out my cramped arms and legs, and find a change of underwear. I can only manage so much fear, and I had directed mine long ago.
The front of the car suddenly falls into a ditch and the loud heated swearing begins. Now the crazies are mad crazies, and after they do whatever they’re going to do to me, will have a long cold walk ahead of them. “The fear of the Lord IS the beginning of wisdom,” I repeat back to God, mumbling and fumbling with my one free hand in the dark.
Two car doors slam in turn and one guy kicks the car and screams in pain. I laugh a little bit, but louder than I want to. The other guy shouts at me and in his building rage he fumbles with the keys and drops them twice. He wants to kick the car too, I think, but waits to kick me. I am waiting too, but I am waiting on the Lord, and Jesus’ words in Mathew 10 come to mind. Was He thinking of this night when He said “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”?
I hear a click and the trunk lid finally begins to open. My car’s battery is dying, but the tail lights reveal two livid forms about to grab and begin to kill my body. The hateful anger on their faces melds into terror as my gun goes off twice and the two criminals are both suddenly writhing on the ground with blown away hips. Sure, instead of a bent nail, I had a gun tucked away in my trunk, prepared in wisdom.
Now I’m thinking that perhaps Jesus was speaking to these two. They might be afraid that I will “kill the body'”. I wouldn’t do that, but they would be wise to repent and fear the Lord for He is the “one who can destroy both body and soul in hell!”