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Topic: Failure (03/01/04)
TITLE: Get Involved, or Not?
By Martha Currington
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This nagging question, “Should I get involved?” haunts anyone who’s considering such action. We have to live with the decision we make, whether it produces positive results or negative feedback. So, the spiritual and mental warfare begins.
Last week I was reading the front page news story about an armed robbery. Five retired school teachers, who had met for a luncheon, were robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot. Their assailant then fled in a black SUV. When I read his description, I was stunned. “ Could this possibly be him?” I thought! The age progression would be right. The M.O. is eerily similar. This thirty to forty year old, white male, had a black substance rubbed all over his face, and he had worn a ball cap! What if? It just couldn’t be!
My mind flooded with memories...Dairy Queen, cashier, eleven p.m., dark night, two gunmen, pistols, walk-in-freezer, fear, my frantic, silent praying,...”Drop your purses! Hands on you heads! “Ill blow your #*#*##* head off!”...black substance rubbed on one gunman’s arms and face, ball cap, .glowing neon signs, teenagers crying, trembling bodies , answered prayer, rescue by an unsuspecting teenager who had forgotten her purse, and returned, Thank you, Lord!, escape of gunmen, police questions, gunmen still at large... same town...
My thoughts returned to the present when my husband turned on the tv.
Could there be a connection in these two armed robberies? Should I mention this possibility to anyone? Should I get involved? My heart said”yes”, my reason said “far fetched”. I prayed for guidance. I needed to know what to do! Another past incident flashed into my mind.
An elderly man with Alzheimer’s was missing . He had driven to a convenience store- deli for lunch, never returning home. The next day I saw a man standing at the curb, waiting for the light to turn red. For some reason I felt uneasy about him. Nevertheless, I drove on, carrying my dialysis patient home after treatment. Her daughter, afflicted with Alzheimer’s, was also with me.
That night a tv reporter gave the missing person’s description. The man I had driven past, had on, basically, the same type and color of clothing! I mentioned this to several people , asking, “ Should I report this to the authorities? “Well, there’s no use in doing that. That wasn’t him. Besides , if it was, he’d be far away by now.” There had been reports of possible I.D’s elsewhere. So I let it pass. Two days later, his car was found sinking in the river. He was no longer alive. I’ll never know if he was the one I saw. I prayed for forgiveness for my failure to get involved.
Now, this time, I shared my suspicious thoughts about the robberies with no one. It was between me and God. I prayed for boldness .
I went to town to pay bills. On Wednesdays some businesses close at noon,. I drove past the police department in order to get to one business before it closed. I wasn’t quite bold enough yet to carry out my mission. On my way back, I stopped.
The investigator already had someone in his office. I sat down on a hallway bench and waited. When his office door opened a lady came out and left. Then, she returned and began talking to the investigator in the hallway near me. “Should I buy a gun for protection? I’m afraid he might come to my home.” I could relate to her desperation and fear. He advised her of a better way to handle the situation. Turns out, she was one of the teachers robbed. God had led me to stop at the right time, to show me that I had made the right decision..
I explained to the investigator why I was there, then asked him to read the detailed story I had written about the Dairy Queen robbery. “The M.O. is certainly the same”. I’ll pull the old files and review the case. Thank you for coming forward.”
Should I have gotten involved? Yes. This time I had no regrets. I did not fail God, myself, the teachers, nor others who could become possible victims if this is indeed the same criminal.
Later that same afternoon I received an important email. My Dairy Queen story had sold! I breathed, “Thank you, Lord.... for everything!”
Copyright 2004 Martha J. Currington