My husband was forbidden to purchase a gun when he lived with his parents. Their reasoning made perfect sense. They had witnessed many gun shot deaths in their business. When Paul got out of the Air Force and was still living at home, he purchased a gun. One evening, just as his dad was about to lock up the business, a man entered the building, came up behind Paul’s dad and threatened his life. Paul heard the commotion and approached the man with his gun drawn. It was then that his father agreed it was a good idea to have a gun on the premises.
When he left home, that obligation to protecting his family was always at the forefront of his mind.
We’d just purchased our first home. The house cost us $14,000.00 and that was at the top of our ability to repay. Today you can barely find a decent car for that money. The house was an old two story, in need of restoration, but then so were we. We had two toddlers, born within twenty months of each other. My going to work was not an option. So to make ends meet, he took a second job as a security guard in an old warehouse. The building was also in disrepair and was a haven for vagrants and addicts, so it was necessary to keep watch over it. The job for the most part was uneventful, but there was an element of danger to it.
He was not permitted to carry a gun, so instead purchased a super-sized flashlight as his means of protection. I suppose he felt rather like Barney Fife, with his unloaded pistol. He never knew what would be lurking in the corners of those ancient walls. He could’ve become victim to an attack by a desperate drug addict, looking for a few bucks for a fix.
One night a couple fellow guards, out for a night of adventure, entered the building with guns filled with blanks. They opened the door to where Paul’s desk was and started shooting. When they had their fill, Paul looked them square in the eye and said, “See that desk over there? That desk belongs to our boss. What if he’d been sitting there?” Those guys lost their jobs – not because Paul reported them – but for their further incompetence.
I often wonder what if those bullets were real? I could again see God’s protecting arm around my hero. In time, it wasn’t necessary for him to work a second job, but when he returned home each night, he’d tuck a piece of chewing gum under the pillows of our children, since he wouldn’t be awake when they rose in the morning.
He is a true hero in so very many ways.