Tuesday, January 31, 2006

If We Would Just Listen

Pretty gross picture, huh? This is a picture of Daren Davis, described as "an innocent bystander" who was hit in the lip by a Dallas police pepper ball gun (story on wfaa.com here, you have to sign in to read the article, but it's free).

According to Mr. Davis, he and a friend were walking out of a bar where police were trying to break up a fight and he was hit in the lip by a pepper ball fired by the police. The police claim that Davis' lip was split when another suspect fell into him and hit Davis' lip with his head.

I was talking to a police officer friend about this incident. I told him I did not buy the "somebody hit you in the mouth with his head story." My friend said that could be the case, but he also gave me something else to think about. If there was a big fight going on outside the bar, why didn't the guy move away from the fight instead of going over to where it was when police were already struggling to break up the fight? Maybe he was an innocent bystander, but maybe he would not have been hit {innocently} if he had stayed out of the way and let the police handle what was already a difficult situation.

Who's right, I don't know. I can't find a follow up article, but I thought about Darren Davis this morning when I read "Do not join a crowd that intends to do evil..." from Exodus 23:2. I know a lot of people who take no heed to this simple warning. We wouldn't think of joining in a group who was planning to assassinate the President of the United States, but how many Christian teens have "joined in a crowd" who have vandalized property (even if they themselves did nothing) or as an adult, joined in a crowd who was causing a disturbance.

I wasn't there when Darren Davis got shot, so I can't pass judgment on his actions, but he did walk toward the fight "to see what was going on". Even from his account, had he walked the other way, it seems he may have avoided this incident. Was he to blame? Perhaps not, but the whole incident just reminded how practical God's Word is everyday...if we would just listen.

- Rob

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