The angels must have surrounded me then,
joining hands in fervent prayer.
Their voices, a little higher than men’s,
sending up prayers for my protection.
They could see the serpent coiling up around this little boy
slipping its forked tongue at me to stoke my fear.
When they saw what the Lord was going to allow,
and how the evil would one day be repaid,
they must have marveled at how their God works.
What patience has the Almighty?
What little vision do men and even angels keep?
Our Lord operates on fixed principles,
But his methods are inventive and unpredictable.
The prayers of the angels that day were answered.
My God delivered in an unexpected way
bringing grace and beauty out of my most horrid moment.
God’s plan was to block that experience from my mind
until I was a grown man who could deal with the consequences.
Thirty-some years later the memory would resurface,
days after I separated from my ex-wife.
Unpacking it all from the cloudy memory boxes of my past,
I remembered the assailant and how he stole my innocence.
But the full memory is still hidden from me.
There are days I thank God I can’t see much more,
and others I want to know all that was endured
for to be a man is to know the full measure of your life
and how you reacted in the face of pure evil.
What I can see are the years that followed,
Spending much of my time in solitude, avoiding touch,
Preferring something other than true intimacy or romance.
Coming to terms with the root causes of untimely anxiety.
But the man the angels look down at today
has placed his faith in the Savior of this world
who crushes the serpent’s head with his heal.
That little boy forced to stand naked, in shame,
rises every morning with a will to defeat Satan.
Hell shakes when he walks, and his heavenly angels rejoice.
This boy, now a man, can fend for himself,
and he sends up his own prayers to a God
who let him be shaped by the evilest evil man can do.