Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

June 6, 2010

Desperate with a Gun

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

The police knocked at the door.  When I answered the door they began to explain a situation with which they were confronted.  A man was in his home threatening to kill his wife, son, and even himself.  They were at a standoff.  He had agreed through negotiations to speak with me if I would come.

We will often respond without thinking about the consequence.  I realize that I had no choice if I had the heart of a pastor, but yet, I was walking into a very difficult environment, leaving my wife and two children at home.  Was it wise to risk losing my life and leaving Judy and the children?  For some reason we don’t usually stop and ask such questions.  We just respond.  And that is what I did.

I knew the family.  The wife and son attended our church.  The husband did not oppose their attending church, but he would not have anything to do with church or God.  I do not recall all the circumstances, but he had lost his job and was despondent.  He had argued with his wife at dinner that evening, gotten up from the table, and retrieved a pistol from the bedroom.

He ranted and raved, constantly pointing the gun at them.  His anger was vented toward the wife and son.  Why?  We really don’t know.  He had simply lost his ability to reason.  The police gave me an update as we travelled to the home.  As we arrived,  it was shouted to the man inside that I was there.  He agreed that I could come in.  The negotiator asked that he allow the wife and son to come outside.  There was a long lapse of time before he responded.  He agreed if the promise was kept that I would come inside.  I believe he was processing enough that if the family was outside and I was inside, it would be protection for him to avoid the police storming the home.

As the wife and son came out the door, I went inside.  We greeted each other and made small talk about the mess he was in.  He talked about his life and how it had fallen apart.  There were moments of real anger as he talked and in such moments he would wave the pistol.  Don’t assume that I was brave.  I was scared.  I constantly tried to decide what I would do if he became violent.

We passed the time.  It seemed like an eternity, and I had no promises to offer him, and I certainly could not undo the past.  As I remember, I simply tried to bring a calmness into that room and into his life.  After several hours, he began to realize the futility of what he was doing.  I knew the family would not do anything retaliatory, but would simply seek to get him some help.  I told him that I would be his friend, whatever the consequence of his action that night.  I tried to inject what God could mean in his life, and I do believe he listened.  Perhaps it was the power of God on and in his life that brought him to a moment of peace, and he handed me the revolver.

We did not walk out of the house like you see in movies.  I simply went to the door, handed the gun to a policeman, and asked if I could have a moment with the family.  The wife and son came back inside.  There were tears, hugs, and words of sorrow, love and forgiveness.  Then the police came in and escorted the man out.  I can never forget such desperation as I saw in that man that night.

Most every person feels desperate at times.   But to be overwhelmed by it is a sign that the person is seeking to do everything in their own strength and wisdom.  I can tell anyone that such living will be destructive.  Without a power or influence beyond ourselves, life can collapse.  I am so blessed that I found, so many years ago, a power and force within myself that equips me to overcome whatever the situation.  It does not mean the situation changes, but the situation does not control me.  That power, as you have learned from my blogs, is the Lord Jesus Christ!

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  (Matthew 11:38)  ” . . . in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33)



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