I have mentioned that we sold our last home to get out of debt thus enabling us to adopt more kids. That home we sold we had built on a ridge. It was at 7400' and was about 1,000 feet higher than our city. It overlooked a canyon with a breathtaking view of the Rockies. Driving up the mountain road one could look up and see the glow of our home on that ridge, but have no clue how to get to it. I loved that part. It was tucked away and serene and it sat on 7 acres.
Since it was on a ridge there was literally no yard space at all, just 7 acres - of cliff and canyon! We were okay with that...less yard work. Infact before moving in I commented to our Abigail that I really hoped that we could put a garden in as soon as we moved in. She said, "MOM! You bought a cliff! Where do you think you will put a garden?" Ummmm, good point Ab.
Before we moved in we were hiking with our dear friend Stuart, from Phoenix. Dw, Stuart and I had decided to hike the highest peak of our ridge property....what a view we saw! But we also saw some big animal tracks that actually looked sorta' like a mighty big putty-tat . We memorized their shape. We three all grew up the suburbs, so what did we know? We went back to the parsonage and Stuart, Dw and I looked at tracks on line. As best we could tell they were mountain lion. *gulp* Stuart then found a site with animal sounds and kept playing (over and over and over) the sound of a mountain lion roaring. Every time Stuart played the growl I would get goose bumps - dork! **even bigger gulp**
It turns out on a second hike we did with someone who was very familiar with 'tracking' he confirmed that it actually was a female mountain lion with her cub. It didn't exactly warm our hearts, but we prayed with our staff, anointed our property with oil and moved in.
About two months after moving in, at about 11 pm at night I took our little dog Boo out to the bathroom. I walked to the edge of the driveway so Boo could do his thing. It was then that I heard something. Hmmm, that's weird. I had heard elk and deer crunching in the leaves, but this was different. It sounded like a "woosh, woosh, woosh." It made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. What was that noise? I immediately felt like the Lord said, "Get over by the house." I quickly moved toward the house; now only about 30 feet from the front door.
I stood very still. Woosh, woosh, woosh. What the heck? I mean, come on, where was that noise coming from. I have a slight hearing loss from the Multiple Sclerosis, which makes it very difficult to tell which direction sounds are coming from.
I kept looking around in the pitch dark. Where was that sound coming from? And better yet, what was making the sound??? Still it continued: woosh, woosh, woosh. All of a sudden I turned and there, on the ground, right near the far end of our front porch stood a mountain lion staring at me. He was about 30 feet from me.
The wooshing was his tail!! It was humongous!! Gigantic!! Gargantuan!! And it was moving back and forth wooshing.
Silly as it sounds, my very first thought was: "My! What a big tail you have!" (how dumb was that?)
On top of that thought, my very next thought was: "They say you are more afraid of me than I am of you, so why aren't you running?" He just stood and stared at me.
Now my next thought is kind of hard to explain, so bear with me....it happened quickly, but I felt like, for a few seconds, the Lord gave me some insight into the mountain lion. I truly felt like the Lord showed me what that Mountain Lion was thinking: "I am here because the enemy has sent me to strike fear into you, but God has closed my mouth." (Remember I have overcome HUGE fear in my life and yes, a mountain lion would be just the ticket to strike new, paralyzing fear in me.)
And with that thought from the Lord, mustering all the faith I could I walked over and petted that mountain lion.
Are you kidding me? I may be a faith-filled woman, and yes, Almighty God had closed that lion's mouth but I am not a lunatic - - and I hardly doubt that Daniel, while spending the night in the lion's den played fetch with them!!
So what this very human woman did was to turn and airlifting our dog Boo (he had a harness and leash on) in the air I ran like a crazy woman toward the porch, up the steps and in the front door. As I was running toward the porch I heard the mountain lion go under our front porch, and as big as it was, its shoulders were banging on the underside of the porch floor boards....**yikes**
Dw was still up when I came bursting through the front door and I told him about the mountain lion. We had not put curtains up yet (no neighbors to peak in our windows since we were so secluded)...but I felt like that mountain lion could be outside just watching us to see which one had the most fat on the bones and would be a tasty treat.
The next day Dw and I looked at the paw print in the mud where it had been standing. Yes, indeed, it was a big one!
We prayed for protection and were very attentive to our surroundings. A few weeks later Graham was outside at lunch time and again saw the mountain lion about 15 feet from him. At that point we asked some friends to come and pray over our home with us, which they did. We never saw another mountain lion again. Several bear, yes, but no more mountain lion.
There is no doubt that our Miracle-working, Mountain-moving, Awe-inspiring, Gasp-Giving God had closed that mountain lion's mouth as it stood staring at me that day and He had again closed it's mouth when Graham saw it. And no, it's not everyday that people have mountain lion encounters and live to tell about them.
That is why you will find a little mountain lion sitting in our Memorial Box to remind us, once again, of God's faithful and complete protection - even closing the mouth of a lion on two separate occasions! How we thank Him for His complete protection!
PS A few of you have written and asked what exactly Memorial Box Monday is all about....so read about it here.