I pulled a stunt the other night that I was afraid might get me arrested. I pulled up beside a very young looking police officer in our town of 1300 and proceeded to tell him how to do his job. I meant it kindly, because as I was driving out of town fifteen minutes earlier, he’d just pulled over a speeder, and if I hadn’t pulled into the other lane when I did, he’d have lost his hiney. I couldn’t see him because of the lights of the cars. So I told him so when I came back into town. Just like his mama would have.
You see, our town was destroyed by a tornado six and a half years ago, and it broke us financially. One of our means of keeping our heads above water is to not pay the mayor, and to stop speeders. That makes people mad, to get caught breaking the law. It gives our town a bad name. We’re a “speed trap” because we fine lawbreakers. Seven years ago we were a nationally known historical town with three long blocks of antique dealers who made decent livings and helped support the town. Now one of those dealers is my next door neighbor and she works at Walmart in a local town.
Okay, back to my arresting story. The young man explained why he didn’t have time to position the speeder the right way, he just had to go at it however he could or they’d get past the city limit. And there would go more much needed money for our city coffers. I told him I understood, but please be careful. He said he would. Then I told him that any time he wanted to sit and watch for speeders, we have a lot of children who play on our quiet street, and too many people drive too fast through there. Any time he wants to park on our driveway beside our house, he has our permission. He thanked me and I left, and I made sure to use my turn signal when I pulled out onto the street.
I didn’t get arrested that night. He may fine me next time he catches me forgetting to brake at the stop sign, but I don’t think I’ll mind much. Point was, he needed to know he was endangering his life. Maybe he’ll think more about it next time he pulls someone over.
Have you ever done that? I mean, I hate confrontation, but there are times I will confront someone for their own good. I don’t go around telling everyone in town that they’re dirty sinners and are going to hell if they don’t repent, because I don’t know everyone in town, despite its tiny size, and what may look questionable to me may not be questionable at all if I knew the whole story. But when I see someone, particularly someone I love, a friend, a church member, an old classmate, doing something dangerous like drinking and driving or riding a bike in heavy traffic, or spitting in God’s face and daring Him to strike lightning, I’ll probably work up the nerve to say something about it. It’s just something you do when you care about people.
How about you? Any stories to share?