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Friday, September 12, 2008

Real Church Stuff #2

The Protective Police Officer

A couple of years after Tahni and I were married we lived in a duplex in Carmichael, California. That duplex was in a neighborhood of duplexes—mostly renters. I was going to school at the local community college, Tahni worked at Motorola, and we were both heavily involved in planting Lakeside Church.

Our neighbors to the left of us were both in law enforcement—a father and son. We regularly talked about life and God. They liked calling me “preacher” or “pastor” as terms of endearment though I wasn’t a pastor at the time. They knew I was heavily involved in the church.

Often times I would come home from school and the son would talk to me about the things he thought about God and the things he was trying to “do better.” He often did things to make me happy and make me notice him. I could tell he wanted my approval. He would pull my trash up from the curb, pick up the paper, etc.

One day a pitbull from the yard behind us broke through the fence and came into my backyard when I was swinging with our infant Karysa. The neighbor heard me yelling at it and came over to see if I needed help. I was able to get Karysa inside and eventually the dog went away.

When I came home from school the next day, the son grabbed my attention. “Pastor, come over here—I have something I want to show you.” He was very excited. “I was really worried about that dog coming in to your yard so I had an idea.”

He opened his trashcan to show me the dog, which he had shot.

He was giggly with excitement and felt proud that he had protected the pastor next door.

I however still have nightmares.

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