Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Encountering unbottled rage

On Sunday morning I had decided to take my Mum to church. She has only been going to that one for a few months and I just never had the opportunity to check it out. I find it hard to pry myself away from my own church and they meet at overlapping times. The weekend had been filled with missionary stories as I had spent the previous 2 days at missionsfest. Nothing against the people speaking at my church on Sunday but it was a mission related service so I took this opportunity to go across the bridge and check it out. The service itself was a little off the norm for that congregation because the Pastor had become ill last minute and a very young looking youth pastor presided over the service. That being said I enjoyed it very much. We went out to have lunch after the service and had a very nice visit.

So now we come to the incident the title alludes to....

After lunch we headed to her apartment building. The rain had come on quite heavy. My Mum doesn't walk that well or smartly so I decided to drop off at the front door so she would not get wet. As I pulled into the driveway there were a couple of vehicles blocking the driveway and a minivan directly in front of the entrance way. There was enough room behind it for my Mum to get through though the driveway pavement is a little broken up and a large puddle was forming right where she had to walk. The situation irked me a little. Not a lot but a little.

So by the time my Mum had made her way past the minivan the other vehicle had pulled away. I started to draw past the van I was surprised that there was someone in the drivers seat. I paused briefly, made eye contact, mouthed the word why, shrugged my shoulders and pointed forward where he could have been parked temporarily without blocking the door. I went and parked my vehicle on the street and was heading back inside to make my mum a coffee before I took off. As I turned the corner off the sidewalk toward the front door I was surprised the van was still there. I was just forming the thought to say to him why I gestured and what it meant if he was unsure.

Well As soon as he saw it was me he burst out of the van yelling obscenities at me and acting most menacing towards me. He was burly but short, honestly in a fight I doubt he would have stood a chance against me but I had no interest in fighting him or returning his evil. Once his first barrage of verbal insults subsided I tried in vane to explain what I had a problem with. I spoke forcefully but not with anger. I didn't take an aggressive stance but at the same time didn't submit either. I said if he wanted I could call the Police. He backed off but as he got back into his van he yelled more obscenities and in among them he stated he could park wherever he wanted. I didn't like that and I turned around and explained the situation one more time.

Well he burst out the van again and this time ran around to the passenger side and flung open the sliding door which revealed 2 young children in baby seats in the second row. He then said I had embarrassed him in front of his family he then walked to where my Mum had walked through and gestured say there seems to be plenty of room for you to fit through here. He then started to come at me and this time I got my phone out and we ready to dial 911. I really thought he was going to attack at this point. I guess he got a slight grip on himself and backed off at that point. I headed inside and the incident was over.

In review as I like to do with pretty much anything in life a few things come to light....

  • It was out of concern for my Mum and others like her that live there but do I really have to correct people
  • people can totally misconstrue hand signals/gestures and I'm pretty sure he did here. Perception is reality
  • once the incident started I handled it fairly well
  • however was it necessary for me to correct him again, did I really think he was going to receive it now or was that just my anger
  • what will I do next time
  • God protected me big time
  • 10 years ago I would have been in a fight 99% for sure
  • those poor kids

I felt so bad for those little children and also the realization that he was probably waiting for his wife to come down and she was going to get into a very hostile environment. So some of it I did well and praise God for that but other parts I can truly learn from. I've been praying for the unnamed man and kids ever since. My armour was damaged a little and it took some time to sort it out with God but he repaired it.

If anyone who reads this has some wisdom to share please do. Either leave a comment here or message me via email or FB. It is quite possible I may encounter this man again and I just want to do the right thing whatever that is.

Blessings, James

Edit: I should have added when he revealed his kids I spoke into that. I chastised him for his foul language and that it was even worse doing it in front of his children. I also reminded him that I did not say one curse nor insulted him personally in any way. The things that upset the most about the entire incident was that those tiny ears had to endure that barrage of filth.

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