Excerpt from
The Jensen Family

As the two dug tunnels and built walls, neither noticed a strange man approaching from behind.

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#73: THE ‘O’ ZONE

A Character story about peace.

"This has been the Evening News with-" Mr. Jensen pushed the 'off' button on the remote control, and then settled back in his chair.
"All that talk about the ozone layer has me a little scared," Julie admitted. "They talk about it all the time as if we're all going to die of cancer if we don't do anything about it fast."
"It does sound terrible," Jason agreed. "Dad, what's the ozone layer anyway, and what does it do?"
"Well, let me explain it this way. When the Lord made the atmosphere, He made it in a number of different layers. The ozone layer is one found from 12 miles high to 30 miles high. Actually ozone is just a different form of oxygen though we can't live on it. An oxygen molecule in the air is usually a link of two oxygen atoms. When three oxygen atoms form a molecule, it is called ozone. The Lord had a very special purpose in mind when making ozone. You see, the sun gives off light and heat, but it also gives off various forms of radiation which would soon kill us if we got too much. It seems that before the flood of Noah, water protected the earth from this radiation. When that water canopy fell as rain during those first 40 days, the protection was gone. Now ozone does that job of protecting us from a harmful amount of ultraviolet light."
"So, if the ozone layer really does disappear, we're in big trouble then, right?" Julie queried.
"Yes, that's right. That scientist on the news tonight seemed to feel that the destruction of the ozone layer was not caused so much by our carelessness, but was a natural disintegration. In the book of Revelation chapter 16 we are told that during the Tribulation period, people will be scorched with intense heat. I wonder if the Lord might be preparing the atmosphere for that time."
"Sounds scary to me," Julie shuttered. "I'm sure glad the Lord is going to keep us from that time, aren't you?"
"I sure am," Mr. Jensen agreed.
Jason glanced at his watch. "Wow! I better get going. The guys are meeting at the park for a short practice game."
"Josh and I will ride over with you," Julie announced. "We can play on the swings and slides while you're playing ball."
"Fine by me. But we have to get going right away."
While Jason and his friends played softball, Julie led her little brother around the playground, first to the swings, then the slide, and finally to the sandbox. As the time passed, the number of children on the playground dwindled, and soon Julie and Joshua were playing alone.
As the two dug tunnels and built walls, neither noticed a strange man approaching from behind.
Julie spun around, startled. "Oh! Oh, ah, hello. Y-you scared me. I-I thought we were alone."
"There's no need to be afraid. My name's Henry. What's your name?"
"Ah . . .J-Julie," she answered, feeling more uneasy as the man stared at her.
"Do you live around here?"
"Yes, quite close actually." Julie nervously glanced at her watch. "Oh, I guess we better get home. It's almost Joshua's bedtime."
"Oh, so this is Joshua, is it? Hi there, Joshua. Want to come to Uncle Henry?"
Joshua put down his digging stick and began to walk toward the man, but Julie grabbed him. "We really have to get going," she repeated as politely as she could.
But the man persisted. "I just want to hold him a minute," he said as he grabbed Joshua's arm.
Just then Julie glanced up to see Jason and his friends standing by the sandbox. "Did you need my brother and sister for something?" Jason asked firmly.
The man took one glance at the boys. "Oh, uh, no, I-I was j-just leaving." And with that, he quickly disappeared down the walkway.
"Boy, am I glad to see you!" Julie said with a sigh of relief. "I don't know what that man had in mind, but he gave me the creeps."
"I'm just glad I glanced over to see if you were both O.K. Anyway, we still have one inning. Why don't you stay over close to the fence."
"With pleasure!" Julie said. Holding tightly to Joshua's hand, they followed the boys back to the field.
When the three got home, they told their parents every detail of the evening's events. "I never thought I'd say this, but when I saw Jason, it was just like seeing an angel!"
"Hey, I like that," Jason teased. "Say it again."
"That's a good warning to all of us," Mrs. Jensen added. "You two must never go to the park without one of us or Jason with you. It just isn't safe anymore."
"I agree," Mr. Jensen nodded, "but I couldn't help thinking of a verse in Psalm 34 when Julie said her brother was like an angel."
"I didn't mean he always acts like an angel," Julie inserted. "I meant-"
"Not all the time . . .but most of the time," Jason said with a gleam in his eye.
"Don't I wish. I meant you protected us like an angel."
Mr. Jensen laughed. "The verse I'm thinking of says that very thing. It says, 'The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.' That reminds me of an amazing story I read once from the life of John Paton, missionary to the cannibals in the New Hebrides Islands near Australia. One night the natives determined to kill John and, though he was greatly outnumbered, he prayed for God's protection. Strangely, the cannibals never tried to enter the house, and by morning they were gone. Years later, the chief accepted the Lord Jesus as His Saviour. John asked him why he did not try to break into their home that night. 'We couldn't get near,' was his reply. 'Your house was surrounded by those shining men.'"
"Wow!" Julie responded. "Do you think they were really angels?"
"I sure do," Mr. Jensen answered. "And though we don't see them, I'm sure that angels have protected us from danger many times. They work, well, kind of like the ozone layer. Both protect us from things that could harm us."
"I sure wish I could see them sometimes," Julie confessed. "It would make me feel better in times of danger."
"Believing what God has promised is even better than seeing angels," Julie's dad answered. "Jesus said He would never leave us nor forsake us. That means He is always with each Christian. The big word for this is omnipresent, meaning He is everywhere at the same time. It was great that Jason and his friends were there to protect you, but even if they're not, the Lord never leaves us."
Jason got a twinkle in his eye. "Hey, that's the ozone that always protects us. If 'O' stands for 'omnipresent,' then we're always in the 'O' zone. Get it?"
The others laughed. "Yes, we get it," Mrs. Jensen added. "And that's better news than just a play on words, too."