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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Failure (03/01/04)

TITLE: Get Involved, or Not?
By Martha Currington


And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men. Col. 3:23(KJV)

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

Member Comments
Member Date
Dave Wagner03/08/04
That's a tough dilemma. I think your conclusion of going to God in prayer to find the answer is wise. There might be a time when, for whatever reason, He won't want you to get involved. You never know. That's why He is in charge...He can see all of the details.

Honestly, I had to really focus and re-read this piece to catch a lot of what you were saying. The structure seems kinda free-form in a lot of places - kind of stream-of-thought, which is kind of taxing on the reader, but not insurmountable. I don't really know what to suggest to fine-tune it, without being interpreted as being meddlesome, so I will leave it at this: Definately worth reading, and raises an interesting dilemma, though really only touching the topic of the week tangentially.

I'm glad your story sold! Will you buy me a nice gift for being the first to comment on your piece? :) I decided to start from the back this week and work forward...
Donna Anderson03/12/04
Great story!
Linda Germain 03/13/04
Kept my interest. Good read. Question: Did they get him?
Martha Currington03/13/04
No, Linda, he hasn't been caught yet. The reason that I was so concerned is that when I was a victim in the DQ robbery, the gunmen were waiting outside and forced us back inside at gunpoint. The only lighting was neon signs dimly glowing. I was standing in the stockroom between the gunman and 2 teens. I could see his arms had "black" rubbed on them,also his face, and he was wearing a ballcap. After the event was over, the other victims stated that it was 2 black males because they wern't as close as I was. The police did not seem to believe me. They escaped, so with the passage of time, this could have been the same person, just older. Martha