I grew up in a rural area in the Ozarks.
My siblings and I knew our boundaries, and by today’s standards, they were wide.
I made multiple trips daily up the road to the general store my dad owned.
I walked to my Grandma and Grandpa Stephens’ house, which was about a mile away.
I made treks to the Bill Tyree Branch and to my friend Kay’s house.
Within those wide limits, my parents had placed specific restrictions.
I wasn’t to bother neighbors for a drink of water or the use of their bathrooms.
Since I was the oldest child of four, I was to look out for my younger siblings.
And I was never to go inside the house of Herbert and Peggy (not their real names), an old couple who lived in our community.
Herbert waved and said howdy from their front porch every time I walked past their house.
I helped Peggy pick her strawberries, because her old, bent back hurt.
One day as I walked past their house, Herbert called to me, “Come in for a while. I’ll let you play my organ.”
I loved getting a chance to play an organ.
My Aunt Freddie had one. I had spent hours pushing its knobs and pressing its keys. I had learned to play I Dropped My Dolly in the Dirt.
Aunt Freddie also had a hymnal, and I worked to learn to play Love Lifted Me and other hymns.
Anyway, when Herbert invited me inside to play his organ that day, I went with him.
I sat on the organ bench and played my Dolly song.
I don’t know how my mother knew I was inside that house.
I know only this.
Without knocking, Mom walked through Herbert and Peggy’s door.
She stepped behind me, and with loving arms, she lifted me off the bench and took me home.
She rescued me from a child-molesting beast.
My mother’s actions reflect the message of the old hymn, Love Lifted Me.
The spiritual application of this story is hard to miss.
Out of great love for His children, God set limits for our protection.
I have crossed God’s boundaries many times and played into the hands of the greatest beast of all.
God knew I would.
So He sent One who, with loving and bloodied arms, would reach out and rescue me.
The old hymn speaks the truth.
Love Lifted Me.