Thursday, January 29, 2009

An Encounter with "The Angry Young Man."

I had an odd morning yesterday.

After dropping my daughter off at school and a quick stop at the post office, I began my drive to work.

While pulling up to a red light, I glanced in my rear-view mirror to see a woman trying to get out of a car and a man pulling her back in. They were screaming and hitting each other. The light quickly turned green and I moved foward, wondering what my duty as a citizen and an Catholic man is in just such a situation.

At the next intersection, the light turned red as well. The car sped up and stopped behind me once again - and again the same scenario played out. I reached for my cell phone, about to call 911. I thought to myself, "by the time time I make the call, they may be gone and I'll lose my chance to help."

So I put my car in park, put on the hazard lights and got out, making my way to the car behind me.

Out pops the "angry young man," telling me I'd better get my *%$# back in the @#$%ing car. Again and again he tells me this. Calmly I ask him, "Does she want to get out of the car?" More cursing. "Does she want to get out of the car?"

I look a the woman, her head in her hands - partly out of sadness, but mostly out of embarrassment, I think. The AYM hops back in his car and speeds around me. So now I can get behind him and get his lisence plate number. I dial 911, talk to an operator, give her in the info and in an instant the bright green Honda CRX is down a residential street and gone. I try to loop around a few times to find it, but can't.

I do, however, see a cop looking around the same area I reported so I flag him down. I am able to describe the guy, the girl and the car to him.

I'm back in my car and on my way. I try to say a Rosary - for myself and both of those people. I can't. I just keep thinking, "Did I do enough?" What if he beats her again? Kills her? Would it be my fault?

Most of my morning is spent thinking about this encounter. It's a weird day.

Today I say a Rosary on the way to work. No fighting twenty-somethings. No confrontation. Just me and the Luminous Mysteries. Today I feel at peace. I did my best. If the Lord had wanted me to do more, I would have. He gives us strength that we might not think we have if He wants us to have it. The strength to pray, to forgive, to fight sin - to tackle an abuser if need be.

Today the Lord calms my fears. I hope he calms those two unfortunate souls as well.

Pray for them.