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2005.09.14

Comments

Sean McMains

Interesting quandry. I don't think that calling 911 in this situation is out of line at all, though I can certainly understand your qualms. While the guy may well have just been destitute and in need of help, he was in fact trespassing on private property. And while I'm somewhat ambivalent on the question of gun control, the fact that guns are readily available escalates the potential danger of an unknown situation like that.

It probably would have been fine to walk up and say "Hey, are you all right?" But the potential consequences if that decision is wrong are dire enough that erring on the side of caution is probably prudent. (And it's certainly what the police generally encourage people to do.)

Sean

Todd

Interesting situation. As a husband and father I too think I would have taken the same action. My need for security (especially for my family) seems to come before my need to help those in need (I'm sure Maslow is in there somewhere). It is intersting to think about the infamous question, "What would Jesus do?" I can't help but think he would have talked to the guy. Of course, along with that thought I'm thinking, "well, he's the Son of God - maybe he could 'sense' if there was a gun - kind of like a superhero (totally discounting His humaness). I guess I want to help others, but only when I'm in control of the situation, on my terms. Unfortunately, most of the time people are in real need and need real help - we aren't going to be in control of the situation. Again, I don't think in reality I would have acted any differently, but I can't help but wonder - WWJD?

Julie

This kinda makes me sad. If the man was drunk, I guess there's really nothing you could do at the time to help him and the police often times just pick them up and drop them off on another corner. I really feel at a loss with issues of homelessness because there are so many cracks in the system...so many people that can't be helped. Nobody in their right mind is choosing to be homeless...but we can't force them to take medication or go to a hospital or even to take shelter. So they live on the street, living like wild animals...Like feral cats that are too rough and dirty and wild to be approached and can never be domesticated again. You know thinking about shelters...how can we expect a bunch of volatile people to live together in shelters and survive....i would come out of a shelter crazy if I wasn't when I went in...just another thought...

Only two minutes for a guy standing in your yard, wow. My friends had to wait 10 minutes when a man was standing in their living room...in the living room of the house I'm getting ready to move into...

duane

You guys are hitting on EXACTLY what made this so difficult. For most of my life, I've been able to ignore the marginalized in our society and feel okay about it...even as a Christian. Lately, however, I can no longer seem to turn a blind eye. In spite of this, I did not feel the freedom to do what I thought might be right, for the sake of my family's safety. Was it just another excuse to ignore the problem, or truly a justifiable caution? I guess I'll never know for sure.

Matt N.

I have no idea what I would have done. Sometimes I ask, "Why did you command us to love one another God?". It is hard and dirty and time consuming and sometimes no safe. I have no idea what I would have done. I would have had the same feelings. I guess just pray man, pray.

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