After a busy day of work, my colleague and I had one last stop. We loaded our van with educational materials and headed to drop them off at a little library. This library is situated in a very bad area, and while it is only a shipping container with makeshift shelves, it provides a safe environment for children to study. It’s an amazing project.

An important aspect of the library is that it’s placed right in between two gang areas. This means that the children aren’t harassed for stepping onto someone’s “turf” while on their way to study.

After we drove there, we parked on the side of the road and waited for the man who runs the library to arrive. We chatted and listened to music. After a while, we noticed that quite a few people had gathered on the street. They were looking at us with puzzled expressions.

We didn’t think anything of it; we just nodded at anyone who made eye contact and kept waiting. Eventually those people wandered away, and the man we were waiting for arrived.

As we began to unload the books, he asked us if we had noticed more people around than usual. When we answered that we had, he told us: “The two gangs were gathering to have a fight, but when they saw you there, out of respect for what we do, they decided to wait until another time.”

I was speechless, trying to grasp how close a call we’d experienced. We drove home almost in silence. I turned to my partner and exclaimed how we had felt such peace, we hadn’t had a moment of fear the entire time. As we listened to music and talked, we were unaware of the danger brewing around us.

This reminded me of a poster I had as a child. It depicted a family sitting in their home enjoying a meal while outside a storm was raging. Around the house, two hands were cradling the family, providing peace in the midst of the storm.

When we say with the psalmist “Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge” (Psalm 16:1), we can be certain that He will. Every day He guides me, and I have no way of knowing the dangers and distress He saves me from. Regardless of whether I can see the threat or not, He can grant me safety and peace of mind wherever I am.