If I Perish, I Perish

It was a dark and stormy night…
… Think 10 pm, end of October. No storm, but not much of a moon. It seemed VERY dark…

And I was all alone…
… Well, not quite. My nine-year-old daughter had just gone to bed. But she’d be a very poor back-up in an emergency. My husband Bob was at work and wouldn’t be home until about 11:20.

In a big old farmhouse off down a lonely country road…
…I felt very isolated while we lived there. Our nearest neighbor was about half a mile to the south…we hadn’t met them yet. A quarter-mile to the north the road made a right angle bend and headed for the county road a mile west. So neighbor in that direction for a couple of miles.

In southwestern Ontario…
…on the western edge of a valley, with the impressively named, but tiny, Upper Thames River flowing along in the valley below us. (This detail becomes relevant soon.)

When a knock sounded at my door…
…I was in the hall near the front door, ALL ALONE, wondering who on earth would be wandering around at this time of night?

I stood there in the hall staring at the door, my fears kicking into high gear…
…Thieves? Murderers? I was 27 at the time and a wimpy type. Would I be beaten, sexually assaulted? And what about my daughter?

But what if someone is really in need of help…
…Right then the words of Queen Esther popped into my head: “If I perish, I perish.”
(Read about the circumstances where she uttered these words in Esther Chapter 4)

At that moment some kind of courage infused me. Those words, and the thought of her bravery in the face of possible death, squelched my fears and I reached to open the door. After all, do thieves and murderers usually knock?

And there stood three long-haired young men…
Twenty-ish, kind of scruffy, jeans and jackets. Nondescript — the perfect look for thugs…

Asking if they could use my phone!

(That was me swallowing my fears again.)

The young man doing the asking was polite enough about it, so I swung the door open and he came in. Then I noticed first, how cold it was, and second, they seemed to be kind of wet. So I urged them all to come in.

A bit of back story here:
Up where the road bends toward the left and heads toward the highway, a shady little lane goes off to the right. If you follow it to the bottom, this rather picturesque, abandoned lane crosses the river and goes off to a long-forgotten gravel pit.

Since the river is only a trickling creek all summer, it’s easy enough to walk across the limestone river bed, stepping on flat stones, and check this pit out without getting much more than the soles of your feet wet. Driving across in a car posses no problems at all. Bumpy— but if you take it slow you can cross the Upper Thames and follow the lane on the other side, right into the gravel pit.

In spring, however — or after heavy rains in fall — this creek becomes a torrent. A force to be reckoned with. The young men at my door found this out that night when they tried to cross the river after some serious fall rains had raised the level significantly. They drove in, not expecting that depth of water, and their car stalled midway. By the time they’d climbed out and walked the quarter-mile to my place, jeans wet to the knees, they were…like my tale…a little shivery.

And remorseful. Their remorse increased steadily when the “spokesman” got on the phone and tried to persuade someone among his kith and kin (or a friend) who would come and tow their car out. Finally someone agreed…not very willingly.

I didn’t have the heart to kick them out in the cold again so I made some coffee for them, hoping to warm them up a bit, and fed them chocolate-chip cookies I had baked earlier that evening. They downed quite a few and we chatted as they waited for their ride to come.

They remained respectful and polite all the while. I’m happy to say all three of them were very appreciative and not at all the thieving or murderous hoodlums I’d feared. Phew!

When Bob got home I related the whole story. He found the tale quite interesting and a bit humorous. He knew how fearful I was “living way out there” and was intrigued that when I actually faced a “dangerous situation,” I had all the courage I needed.

What would you have done?

My reply to the Word Press daily prompt


14 thoughts on “If I Perish, I Perish

    • I’m sure you would have. Had I been a man, I probably wouldn’t have been as fearful, either. Having a young girl at home may well factor in, too. Basically we have to do what the Spirit tells us when He tells us to act and we’ll be alright.

      That said, there have been times—and in much milder circumstances—when I allowed my mind to be too overrun by fears and didn’t act when I should have. Looking back, I really regret those instances.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I call the main character in the story, and that is you, a woman of great courage. I warmly congratulate you on your faith which gave you the courage. You must have relied on your intuitive powers too. Beyond this, the story is a beautiful piece. Well narrated. Who would not be captivated from start to finish? I was.


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