Last week we were in the car on our way to Toowoomba’s Grand Central shopping centre. It was early in the morning, peak hour. It is a time of the day we like to avoid, due to the traffic. But if we want our favourite parking space on our favourite level, we have to join the mayhem on the road. As little as it is in comparison to the city of Brisbane, just ‘down the hill’ – a country term for not too far away!
I was driving and at the traffic lights waiting for them to change. I noticed a sign on the back window of the car in front of me – ‘Psalm 17:8.’ My One & Only (O&O), my passenger, looked up the verse on his mobile. He read it out: ‘Keep me as the apple of your eye. Hide me in the shadow of your wings.’ I find God turns up randomly in my life. When I least expect it. Am I the apple of his eye?
If you are the apple of someone’s eye it means you are important to them. They are fond of you. It got me thinking. How many people think I am the apple of their eye? Do you know people in your life who think you are the apple of their eye? Or in todays world is everyone too busy keeping an eye on themselves! Preoccupied with their own affairs.
My maternal grandmother Clarice, born in Helidon, was the ninth child in her family, and the youngest. Her first child was my mother, Valma, who was the apple of her grandfather’s eye. Albert was very fond of his daughter and his granddaughter. They were important to him. When writing to his daughter, who was then living in Charleville, he calls his granddaughter ‘little sweetie Valma.’ In Alberts letters he shows care and tenderness, he revealed what was in his heart.
If you are not familiar with the Bible or Psalm 17 David, the author, is praying to God. It is a prayer. Even if you have never picked up a Bible you will have heard about David and Goliath. Yes, that is the same David. David started off in life as a shepherd and ended up as the second King of Ancient Israel. He had his ups and downs in life, some self-inflicted. Yet, David was a man after God’s own heart. David was committed to God’s ways. God was fond of David, not because of the things he did, he made mistakes, but God saw his heart.
In David’s prayer he calls out to God to ‘keep me as the apple of your eye.’ David asks God not to change the way He thinks about him. He wants God to be fond of him. He also wants God to hide him in the shadow of His wings. The imagery is about protection. David wants God to protect him from his enemies.
Then in the new testament part of the Bible, in the book of Matthew, Jesus refers to a hen who gathers her chicks under her wings. It is a place of protection, of security. My sister Christine and her husband John live on a farm up on the Atherton Tableland. Their newest mother hen calls to her chicks, she tucks them under her wings and provides safety. She does all she can to protect them from the enemies, the pythons that like to pounce.
There is more imagery about wings and feathers in Psalm 91. The verses speak about resting under the shadow of the almighty. If trust is placed in God, like those chicks trust their mother hen, then God provides a safe place to rest. God, who is omniscient, sees our hearts and He protects those who love Him.
I spent hours awake one night this past week. I was heartened by contemplating ‘keep me as the apple of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings.’ Thanks to the person who put this Biblical reference on the back of their car window. It gave me comfort and hope in an unstable and at times unsafe world, our COVID normal world.
Image of man: Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com