Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Being safe

Airports are not the greatest place for eating when you are gluten intolerant. The restaurants in my section of the Dallas airport ranged from sandwiches to fried food to more sandwiches. I finally located a Mexican restaurant and decided to try my luck. The only seat was at the bar, but the menu looked promising, and the service was clearly fast. "I'm in luck!" I thought. I had no idea. 

The server/bartender asked for my order. The grilled chicken salad was my choice, no tortilla bowl. No flour tortilla strips. "I can't have wheat," I explained. With a knowing look, he asked, "Do you mean you can't have wheat or you can't have gluten?" I was surprised. I did not expect this from a bartender. "Gluten," I replied. "Oh, we have a very strict allergy policy here. I will have to talk to the manager about your order." My first thought was that they didn't allow people with allergies to eat there. Silly me!  

In a quick flash, the young lady who was manager stopped by my seat. "If you can give me twelve minutes," she said, "I can make sure you are safe." Safe. Isn't that an amazing word?  Protected from harm or danger, "not likely to be harmed or lost".  Of course, I had twelve minutes to be safe. 

I can't remember the last time someone said they would keep me safe, but it sounded wonderful to me, and I've pondered that whole issue of being kept safe all afternoon. As hard as I tried to protect my son, Ryan, I could not keep him safe from every hurt or every danger. I don't imagine any parent can. As careful as I am about prescribing medications, there is no way to eliminate all danger to my patients. Traffic signals, speed limits, even patrolmen are all designed to keep us safe.  Maybe a better term is safer. As a society, we have devised numerous ways to increase our safety, yet people still get sick, accidents still happen, people still die. We aren't really safe, are we?

There is One, however, who offers eternal safety, and He never fails. I was really grateful for my "safe" chicken salad today, and more than happy to wait, but eternal safety? Now, that really is something worth waiting for.