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By Hannah Bemis

Over the last year or so, my husband and I have gotten hooked on one or two police dramas on Netflix. A delightful perk of this development is that I’ve acquired an entirely new vocabulary. Not to brag, but I can throw out police codes with the best of them.

I know that “5-0” is code for police, and “1-8-7” means there’s been a homicide. If I’m out of the house and want to know how the kids are doing, I can ask my husband for the “10-13” (the status) and sound totally natural. I know that a “collar” is an arrest and that (at least on TV) officers compete over how many collars they get.

But my favorite term I’ve learned is “Got your six!” I had no idea what this meant when I first heard officers shouting it as they invaded a home or became engaged in a shoot-out. My husband told me (possibly with an eye roll over the fact that I had never heard the phrase) that it means “Got your back,” as in if you’re the center of the clock and you are facing 12:00 straight in front of you, someone else has to cover your back, which at that moment is 6:00 on the clock face. Therefore, that person has “got your six.”

Since I learned what the phrase meant, I haven’t been able to get this metaphor out of my mind. Not only is it cool like all the other lingo, but it also speaks to a deep need in me to be both seen and protected.

Not long after I learned the meaning of “got your six,” I began to have back pain that eventually led to surgery and a long recovery. One of the Bible passages I camped in while I was recovering was Isaiah 58, specifically verse eight:

Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

I felt God highlighting the truth that His glory is our rear guard, stationed behind us at all times to watch our backs. This truth was precious to me not only because I knew God was saying He had my literal back, which needed healing in that moment, but also because of the metaphor I love so much. God’s got our sixes. (The phrase doesn’t sound as cool when used in the plural, but let’s just go with it.) He is watching us and protecting us in all the vulnerable places where we can’t protect ourselves. He has never taken His eyes off us.

Every time I visit my parents, my dad is the one who takes me to the airport when it’s time for me to go back home. He walks me to the ticket desk, makes sure all goes well as I get my tickets and check my bag, and walks me all the way to security. Then he stands there, still watching while I go through the line (which frequent travelers know can take as long as half an hour, sometimes more during busy seasons). As I progress through the line, I’m eventually way too far away to try to talk or even yell to him, so I look around at other travelers or make sure my liquid toiletries are organized correctly or look at my phone. But always in the back of my mind, I am wondering if he is still there, and every few minutes I steal a backwards glance to make sure. He always is. He stays and watches until I get all the way through security, sometimes walking around other people and changing his position so that he can keep his eye on me. Whenever I finally make it through, and only when I have my shoes on and my things gathered and I’m ready to walk around the bend to wherever my gate is, only then does he blow me a kiss and leave the airport.

Last Christmas my kids witnessed Dad’s airport tradition as our family returned home from a long visit. They had fun waving and trying to make eye contact with Grandpa until we got through security. The next week when it was time to take the kids back to school after the holiday break, I dropped off my twins at preschool and hugged them goodbye. Normally they are so excited to see their friends and play that they are oblivious of the moment I leave.

This time when I got to the door of their classroom, I turned around for one last look and saw that my daughter Nora’s eyes were still on me. She had been watching my back ever since our hug goodbye. When I made eye contact with her, she blew me a kiss and finally resumed playing.

Through two of the dearest people in my life, backwards and forwards in my family line, God doubly confirmed that I am seen and cared for. That deep need within me to be protected, to have someone watching my back at all times had been fully met. For anyone else who has felt ignored or unseen, abandoned or unprotected, please hear this: God notices when you leave the room. His love follows you and will never leave. His glory is your rear guard. God’s got your six.

About The Author

Hannah Bemis

Hannah Bemis lives in Spokane, Washington, with her husband, Jordan, and their three kids. She works as both a mom and as a private tutor, and loves writing about what God reveals to her through the chaotic and mundane events of everyday life. She and her family attend Turning Point Open Bible Church, also in Spokane.