The following is an anonymous submission from a regular reader.
"It should go some way to explaining why I've joined the coalition to end prohibition."
Psalm 108:12 (WEB)
Give us help against the enemy, for the help of man is vain.
David, as in the famous King David, wrote a number of times how the help of man is vain. Does this mean humans are vain, worthless, or useless? Not really, Jesus said we're worth more than many sparrows. [Luke 12:6-7] But if one solely relies on humans, human strength, and does not ever talk to God, or ask God for help, what one can do is seriously limited. And in the long run, doing what pleases God is the only thing of value.
Below is a case-in-point. A real-life story of mine.
Minding My Own Business
One day I was outside, minding my own business, when I heard glass break and a commotion that sounded like a lot of kids. So I walked quickly to the front yard to see what was going on. It was hard for me to get a sense of what was happening since the street seemed flooded with kids, all headed in one direction. There were about 50 of them, scattered up and down the street. I figured high school had let out and a lot of them were walking home at once.
I made a loud comment to the whole group that breaking glass in the street was not advisable, then found a dustpan and small brush to clean up after them. So I picked up the broken glass and at least one of them acted responsibly and picked up some bits of glass, I thanked him but told him I would do it since I had some tools and he was using his bare hands.
Not long after I'd picked up the broken glass, a bunch of kids came from the direction they'd all walked off towards. I stayed put to see what was happening and try to deter any further problems.
Back for the Fight, Act 1
Many of the kids came back, and a disturbance erupted near where I was. It seemed there was a gang of 30-40 kids picking on a much smaller group of less than 10. There was a lot of shouting and angry words between them all, but a few in particular.
I tried to intervene, I walked out in the midst of them, trying to figure out who was against who, how to stop it, and calm them down, "violence won't solve anything," I said. I advised the kid with the baseball bat to put it away, he moved back, away from the crowd a little, but that was about it. For the most part I was ignored. "The help of man was vain."
However, after a minute or two — which is a long time during a heated argument — the bigger gang walked east and out of sight, as did the crowd of girls who, apparently, were there to watch a fight.
Hoping that was the end of it, but unsure, I stayed outside. I picked up scraps of trash trying to make myself useful while waiting to make sure things had simmered down.
Alas, I'd only seen the introduction and first act.
Act 2: In Case You Missed It: The Help of Man is Vain
The larger gang returned a few minutes later, I guess they regrouped and had given each other a pep-talk. As they approached the smaller group of 10 kids, I could see the larger group had a look of determination, almost looking possessed; clearly they were on a mission. I also noticed they all looked very similar, like family members, cousins or otherwise biologically related.
In addition to that I noticed more than a few were carrying tools of harm, like sticks and one of them had a knife drawn and held it by his side. Later I was told one of them held a gun, but at the time I didn't see it.
I did what I'd done before. Only this time I had some warning since I could see them coming. So I walked out in the middle of the street and stood directly in the path of the kid with the knife. None of them looked at me, they all looked past me as they walked in lockstep. Soon those at the front of the gang had passed me but the kid with the knife was still in front of me. We played a little game of chicken. He moved to his left to get past me, and I moved to my right to block him.
All the time I was talking loudly that fighting was not needed. I told the kid with the knife to put it away. But they paid me no heed, they all seemed of one mind, all looking resolutely ahead and ignoring me completely, like they were blind and deaf to me; and the help of man was vain!
I didn't shout at them. I didn't raise my hands. My voice was raised, mainly to get their attention. I was still holding the puny plastic dustpan and brush! "Weapons" of a clean freak. (Although I don't consider myself a clean freak.) They kept advancing and the smaller group — one in particular — was getting very angry and agitated. "Bring it on," "I'll take all of you on," and other stuff I'm sure you've heard, or at least seen on TV or the movies.
God to the Rescue! "Ask Anything in My Name…" "Ask and Receive"
The shouting heated up even more and I got so frustrated I was being ignored, I walked over the curb, stood on it, gaining 5 or 6 inches, and held my hands in the air, still holding the dustpan and brush.
The spirit had me at this point. I called out so they could all hear me and said loud enough for everyone to hear, "In the name of Jesus, calm down, don't fight…" and one or two other things I don't exactly recall. [John 14:13-14, John 15:16, John 16:23-26]
Within one or two seconds, it was like they all came out of their trance and the gang of 40 kids snapped out of it, and scattered, running confused, then all heading back in the direction they first came from.
I went inside and called 911 not long after that. The cops arrived and of course told me not to do that stuff, any of the gang members could harm me, then just escape back to Mexico. Apparently it was some gang from Mexico, or at least of Mexican heritage, they told me. I was not keen that one said to me, "what do you expect living in this neighborhood."
Anyway, glory to God for doing what I could not!
Please keep in mind I was acting as a private citizen. I was not "on the job" for any group or organization. I am still just a relatively simple guy, like Robert Plant sings, "I am just a simple guy and I live from day to day. A ray of sunshine melts the clouds and blows my blues away." (Led Zeppelin III, Out On the Tiles)
This was an extreme situation, I don't go around as though I am riding a high horse and ready to throw lightning bolts at those who defy me. But when there are underdogs who are in danger, or oppressors who can't seem to get enough oppression, if I think I can do something, I'll try. In this case, stepping in directly seemed the thing to do.
The War on Drugs keeps drugs in the hands of children instead of responsible adults, and is — I am certain — the cause of gang fights like this. The "Controlled Substances Act" is anything but! As long as drugs are illegal they are only controlled by the black market! We must completely revamp our broken drug laws by legalizing and regulating illicit drugs.
Faith to LEAP
Please invite a speaker to your organization, or use the web to schedule a speaker to come to your organization; their speakers are current and former members of law enforcement and can tell you their experiences in fighting this loosing war we can never win.