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Calming the Storms…

This afternoon, I went to the store again, (it always happens in stores). It’s my day off and I was buying something to make for dinner. I pulled up in the parking lot and heard a man shouting and a woman shouting back. Right there in broad daylight were two people arguing publicly and in all honesty, I had no idea what the fight was about.

Some people got out their phones and were filming it… I guess to have a record of it should it turn violent. All I knew was, that he was a lot bigger than she was and he had her by the wrist. No one wanted to help her, and no one was going to talk him down.

Now, I am not an especially brave man, but i AM a loud mouth, and I was close enough to clear my throat and the man looked at me…fiercely. I had just turned 62, and since I haven’t seen my grandchildren in a while, I figured I couldn’t quite check out of this world yet…so, as he stared a hole into my forehead the only thing I knew to do was to smile and say,


“Lots of people out here with their phones pointed at you friend… doesn’t look good!”

His look changed. It went from anger to a puzzled look. “Maybe you should let go of her wrist…?’ He did so, and she looked at me too.

I was hoping in this crazy world of ours that no one had a gun at that moment because honest to goodness a gun at this moment could really ruin your day. So, I SLOWLY moved away from my open truck door toward the rear of the truck and did what any good sales person would do… I cracked a joke.

“Don’t you hate it when you want to fight and everyone around wants to film it?”

I smiled big and this made him crack a smile too. I discovered his wife’s name was Cinda, and his name Cord…yes, I said Cord. Why the heck  people in Tennessee have movie names I’ll never know, but I ended up today wishing my name was Cord…that was cool! I later discovered it was short for Cordell and reneged on my wish.

The man, said, “Yeah, sorry for the scene!” Cinda looked at me and said,

“It was my fault, I shouldn’t have called him names.”. three people with phones kept filming and I just looked at them and said, “It’s all over folks, nothing to see here…move along!” in my best Barney Fife voice. Don’t forget, I had just pulled up and was still not sure I wasn’t going to get shot, but there was something in the air…like “open space in the air immediately over my head.” 

I can’t describe it except to say, that if Scotty and Captain Kirk could be here, they would tell you it is almost exactly the feeling they had when they were going to get “beamed up”. It was like  OPEN HEAVEN,  directly above me.

I got the courage, to walk a step or two closer. He kept telling me he was sorry, and I told him he didn’t need to apologize to me. She wasn’t hurt in any way, and I could tell they were both sorry for having made a big scene. She said

“Sir, if you are a police officer, we were just upset because of…” she stopped and put her head down. I walked right up to their car…he finished. “We can’t have children…at this she silently cried into her hands. He placed his arms around her.

She had said he wasn’t man enough to father a child and that is what made him crazy. He kissed her wrist and told her how sorry he was. She said he have NEVER touched her that way before and he kept saying, “I’m so sorry…I’m so sorry…” I told them to get into their car.

For some reason they listened and did it. I got into the back seat. Imagine if you will, a stranger getting in the backseat of your car uninvited. I was in before I had time to think and evidently they still thought i was someone in law enforcement, although I wouldn’t let a cop in my backseat either.

She told him she didn’t mean it…he said he knew that…that she was just frustrated. Here I am, with an ice scraper, an umbrella and a Jack in the Box bag in the back seat and they are in the front seat hugging. I was sure I had just pulled up into the parking lot just seconds ago, and yet, here I sat in the back seat and here they were in the front seat just like I had told them to do. So, I figured just about anything I said would be better than sitting like a dummy next to the jack in the Box bag.

“Okay, I’m gonna put my hands on you and pray. Don’t either of you hit me or pull a gun on me, because I’m here trying to help!”

She giggled and he laughed…”Pal, nobody is going to pull a gun on you…” I said good and prayed. I prayed for the children they wanted to have. I prayed for the walk down the aisle the father wanted to take his daughter down, I prayed for the first day of school they wanted to see, and the grand babies they wanted to have. I asked God to open the womb, and to heal the man. She cried, he silently did what men do…which is…not know what to do.

I asked them if they had a good church and they assured me they did and named one nearby but hadn’t attended for a while. I gave them my phone number and my name. I invited them over for dinner…and then he said,

“I’m gonna remember this day and I’m gonna keep your number…I told them it might be a good idea to go home and away from the filming phones.

Before they drove away, the guy asked if there was anything he could do for me…I told him to “ love your wife, read your Bible…”

Wouldn’t you know it… I drove away and I forgot to buy anything for dinner! I turned around and went back. I don’t recommend doing what I did that day…because when I think about it it was really dumb. I’m not a brave man and certainly don’t have the first idea about counseling people in crisis mode. But, sometimes situations take place and we are right there and that nudge to do something speaks to you to act. Both my brother and my son who are cops would have told me NOT to do what I did.

But the Holy Spirit has authority in ALL the earth. He can speak through donkeys, (which, you know; fit in my situation.) Like my friend in Texas, Sandy, once said by accident when she was speaking in front of a women’s group to a roar of laughter,

“If God can speak through the ass of a donkey He can use you too!”

Sometimes, the Great Commission includes bringing peace into turbulent waters. Jesus calmed a storm…and; I think we as the church can calm them too.

God uses donkeys a lot!

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