my roommate and i woke about 2 am to the sound of impassioned yelling. being that our room is in the forefront of the house, our windows facing the street, we hear everything that happens there. groggily, we opened the window near our beds (we have a bunk-bed/loft thing going on) and sure enough, there were two younger men, face to face, just inches apart, yelling at full volume.
their anger was more than just, “hey, you hit on my chick in a bar, let’s take this outside and punch the crap out of each other.” it was more like, if either of them has a weapon, someone’s gonna die tonight.
nervously, i dialed 9-1-1 and found that i couldn’t do so fast enough. as i told the dispatcher of the situation, one of the guys bolted down the road and the other followed. within minutes of the call, the entire situation was dissolved. i felt like a schmuck for sending out the police, and tried desperately to recover a sleepy state.
a 10-15 minute window passed, and i heard him again. this time he was busting down the street, yelling every obscenity possible, and seemingly ranting about his anger toward a specific person. i was conflicted for the next hour or so about whether or not to call the police again. if i didn’t, would i wake up tomorrow and hear about someone dead in the street?
as i was telling a friend and neighbor about this this morning, he commented on the darkness pervading Fountain Square. he’s blind, so when he mentions “darkness” i usually know it’s of a different kind than just the sun hasn’t been shining for weeks. and he’s right. there is a darkness here. a level of anger and hatred that is disturbing in the deepest places of me.
and yet, i know this is exactly where God would have me right now. i heard someone say yesterday that “evangelism” is simply putting love where love is not. there are glimmers of love, and glimmers of hope of love, in Fountain Square. but for the most part, in the “daily”ness (and in this case, the “nightly”ness) of things, love is not in Fountain Square.
may my interactions with God, myself, my house, and my neighbors shine of a Love that can redeem this broken place….