I imagine when a young man took a car and went speeding through a restaurant parking lot on Pennsylvania Avenue and flying into Rest Haven Cemetery at an estimated 70 mph that he had no idea that someone in their final resting place could stop him. But, when he went careening down the hill, he hit the large solid granite gravestone belonging to my grandfather, Joseph Dallas Baker, former sheriff of Washington County.
As a family, we are thankful that the speeder hit the monument rather than the giant oaks directly across the driveway or the outcome might have been tragic. We choose to think Granddaddy got his man and possibly saved a life at the same time, exactly the way Sheriff Baker would have wanted it in his day.
Kind of adds a new meaning to the “long arm of the law.”
I don’t know about Sheriff Baker reaching back across the great divide to get his man, but there is a long-armed presence that we can never escape – the Spirit of God …
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. (Psalm 139)
This is a good truth for us to remember – both at times when we are fearful because of some circumstance where God seems far away, or at other times when temptation seems most especially close. The fact is that God is always there – up, down, east, west – there is no escaping this truth.
It is a long arm!