Zeal blinds me when I see injustice and disregard for life.
On a recent walk, two young women are about to fight. Three young men are observing a few feet away, speaking to them. I don't know the relation, but my heart directs me to make peace prior to battle breaking out. Walking directly to the women, I begin my plea. One of the men gets in my face, cursing, speaking gang terminology. I also say to him “peace be with you.” Spitting in my face and pushing me, he shouts at me to walk away. He follows me a short distance and resumes encouraging the women.
I wonder if I just tempted evil. A crowd is now observing from a distance. I remove another man from interfering, this time the young man is wielding what looks like a switch blade, threatening the man to back off. Later, this same man takes a camera phone from a witness, again with instrument in hand. This victim desires to chase the thief, I ask him to stand down.
The police arrive, I point out the culprit and his party. The man is taken into custody at gunpoint. I give a report. I am adamant about pressing charges regarding his assault. I give them every detail. The count is four felonies. I know without an eye witness, charges will not hold the perpetrator in prison.
Feeling remorseful now, I'm wondering about that young man's future despite the rage and darkness I saw in his eyes. I consider the trespass against me; very insignificant. I wonder if time in a cage with other criminals will grant him time to reflect on his life and repentance, or simply further his descent into the pit. I wonder if no punishment will embolden him just the same.
[follow-up to this story]