Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Prayer Request

Hi, PDX!

It's almost March. That could mean several things in Portland. NW weather has a way of doing monthly inversions. Could be that March will be cooler and wetter than February. It does happen here!
It happened in February. On Valentine's Day, to be precise. I'm filling out a deposit slip in the bank branch. Young man comes in just a-jabbering away on his cell phone. Louder than normal speech because he's excited. That way everybody gets to hear. So nice of him to share.

That's when I hear the first f-word. Then, by the time he's directly opposite me endorsing his check I hear the second f-word. And the third. Something about the f-ing woman and her f-ing panty drawer. Maybe he's put her Valentine in there.

But he's putting his words right in my ear. A conversation he could have kept to himself--or at least outside.

I speak up. "I'd appreciate it if you would keep your language to yourself, sir!" I state.

Gave him the best message I could, an I-message. I was polite. I called him "sir". I didn't dispute anything he said, just said I'd appreciate it if he kept it to himself. Be considerate, in other words. I kept it positive and on point. It was about the langugage, not him.

He barely skipped a beat: "It's a f-ing free country, and I can f-ing say whatever I want! So f-off!"

His mouth was a 30-round clip that he emptied into me.

He sure told me. And he insulted our country. I'm not sure he understands freedom at all. I wonder what he's given up to live here, what citizenship means to him.

So whatcha think? Should I have:

1. Said nothing
2. Pretended not to hear
3. Excused him because, after all, he's on the phone
4. Called the branch manager
5. Taken it to the next level
6. Waited for him outside
7. Reminded him to be respectful of his elders
8. Gotten his vehicle description and license plate number
9. None of the above

Tell me what you think. Then I'll tell you what I did.

Brave new world.....

Pastor Roger


Troy Wittren said...

Ny guess:

Called the branch manager

jon said...

Tracked down his cell phone number and prank called his voicemail box repeatedly in the name of free speech.

Pastor Roger: said...

Troy and Jon,
Thanks! I probably should have called the branch manager over, but he/she would have been in an awkward he said/he said situation. The hindsight of parenting has taught me to be more careful about choosing the battles (wish I had learned that earlier!). I let him go. Although my wrds seemed to have slid off like water drops from Teflon, they may have carried more weight than we know. IT MAY BE THAT MINE WAS THE FIRST TIME IN HIS LIFE HE HAS EVER BEEN CALLED ON HIS LANGUAGE!
And I've done something else. I'm praying that the Holy Spirit stalk him and convict him. That's the point of the title of the post. I'm hoping you'll do the same. R.