What Would You Do?

OK, I'm not going to ask you a question with every post, but how would you handle the following situation?

You come home from the grocery store at night. You're about to grab your groceries out of the car when you hear some commotion down the block. You notice a couple of people grappling with each other but can't tell if they're just kids having fun or what the story is. Then you hear a woman start to cry. "You hit me!" she yells. You realize the other person is a man.

What would you do?

Now, I suppose calling the police is an option, but good response times aren't guaranteed. I've had screamers in our apartment building before that I've just listened to and they've resolved things on their own. I've also had people scream all the way down the stairs and out into the courtyard. Those folks got the police called on them.

But in this situation, which happened just tonight, my protective instinct just kicked in. I left my groceries, grabbed a tool out of the car and followed the couple for three blocks as they walked, sometimes yelling at each other, other times just walking. My wife called in the middle of this. It's always fun to explain something like this. "Hi hon, I'm following a couple that seems to be having domestic problems. I may have to break up a fight." They eventually calmed down and also seemed to notice that they were being followed (I was wearing YakTrax--they're kinda' noisy on the concrete). I broke off my pursuit. After grabbing my groceries, I started to pray for them as I walked home.

Now, I was ready to physically intervene. Yes, I would've given the police a call, but I wasn't going to stand by and watch some guy beat up his girlfriend. Relieved as I was that it turned out OK, it got me thinking.

I am glad that my self-preservation instinct took a back seat to my desire for justice. This reversal of priorities has gotten me hurt before, but it's good that it remains. What I'd like, though, is for my first instinct to be prayer. I thought about that afterwards, but I should've sought guidance beforehand. Yes, it would've been chivalrous to protect the "damsel in distress," but what if God had wanted me to speak into both of their lives in some way? Hm. Still learning...


Where Do You Belong?

Isn't it interesting to see people's affiliations? To see which semi-secret orders, fraternities or special interest groups they give time, money and bumper space to? To see a blog that you thought was dead contain new content?

Where do you belong? And why? These are mine at the moment:

New Life Community Church I came to New Life in the fall of '99. Earlier that year, I'd begun commuting into Chicago from the suburbs to be involved in a New Life small group. Not long after that, I felt called to move into the city. When I did, I made New Life my church home and became a member. I appreciated the solid, biblical teaching and the passionate worship. Even more than that, though, I felt an immediate sense of family and had found a place where I could be used. This latter aspect--finding a place you can be used--is something that's often neglected in "church shoppping."

Feminists for Life I wish I could hear the questions popping into your mind. If you've never heard of FFL, you should look into them. They're one of the most innovative pro-life organizations I've run across, and I can't help but support them. Their tagline "Women Deserve Better" sums up their approach. They're active on college campuses and advocate for legislation and even school and employer policies that make keeping an unexpected child more doable. While I don't support every stance that they take, I think their overall approach is refreshing and effective. And, let's face it, it's amusing to be a male member of a women's organization. Don't worry, though, I'll leave Women's Workout World to the ladies.

National Rifle Association I love to shoot. I think the 2nd Amendment is important and still applicable, and the NRA is one of the few organization with the leverage to actually impact legislation. I don't wear their tacky promotional caps nor do I have an NRA bumper sticker on my car, but I am a member...somewhere between Ted Nugent and Michael Moore.

Mensa I'm not sure there's much to say about this one. It is what it is. Intelligence is only as valuable as the good done with it. I do knuckleheaded things daily for which I should have my membership revoked. For the record, Mensa's not as exclusive as it's made out to be. Statistically speaking, there are 120 million people alive today who should qualify.

I should also note a couple of important previous affiliations, namely the Quality Paperback Book Club, which I repeatedly joined and canceled for several years to take advantage of their introductory offer, and the Anti-Blue Angels Club, a protest group opposed to my younger sister's club, the Blue Angels. Most notable among ABAC's exploits was a covert op where I secured secret documents from my sister's room and fed them to the goat down the street. True story.

Wow, self-disclosure. It's...itchy.