An Arrest at Our House

 

The evening was calm–we had a friend over for dinner and we enjoyed lots of fresh vegetables from the country our friends had brought up the day before.  Later our family was all hanging out in the living room reading, writing, or playing a part in Ian’s bat party when there was a loud knock on our back door.

Steve and I both looked at each other thinking, “Whaaaaat?!”  Our back yard is fenced in and the front door is so obvious that it wouldn’t make sense for someone to bypass it to go to the back.  The boys all three ran toward the kitchen to go see who was there since visitors are always exciting to them.

Neither Steve nor I is naturally fearful, but we both had a check in our spirits and simultaneously told the boys to wait.  Steve went to see who was there.  The knocking on the kitchen window was louder now.

Being curious, I looked into the kitchen and remember seeing the top of a head and a wad of cash in the hand of someone jumping up and down while talking with Steve through the closed window.  At first I thought it was someone begging for help, but the cash didn’t make much sense.  I couldn’t even tell if it was a child or an adult.  Steve would normally open the door or window, but this time he was keeping them closed making the situation seem like a little suspicious.

The boys were getting a little scared and I started thinking of lots of possibilities.  I didn’t know if this person was alone or with others. Was he armed? We all huddled in the bathroom which is the only room without windows.  I prayed loudly and confidently claiming the power of God to protect us.  I didn’t feel anxious, but my legs were like jelly.  I was holding Paxton and the other two boys were clinging tightly to me.  We prayed that God would give us a picture of the angels protecting us.

After we felt calmer we walked out again to see what was happening. (I’m too curious!) To try to get a better picture of what was going on, I looked out the front window to see if there was a broken down vehicle or anyone else.  Instead I saw policemen searching.  Ooooh….

We’ve gotten to watch a few police chases on our street before, so suddenly I knew what must be happening.  I ran out onto the porch and told them there was a man behind our house.

{Insert Steve’s perspective: I hurried to the kitchen to find a man desperately banging on the window yelling, “You gotta help me! The cops are after me!” I asked him why and he kept repeating that I needed to help him. He pulled out a wad of cash, then his necklace which he claimed had real gold, begging me to hide him. I kept asking him why he was running from the police. He finally said that he had beaten a man. Not knowing if that was the truth or how dangerous he was I told him to wait there and I would come around the house to meet him. I was not going to open the door and allow him inside with my family. I don’t think I have ever seen a look of desperation like his when he realized that I was not opening the door. He heard the police who had arrived by that time. He began beating on the window, trying to pry it open. Unbelievably he did not attempt to open the back door which was only a few feet from him, unlocked.}

Steve had walked to the front of the house expecting to go outside and talk with the man, but he didn’t want to open the back door and give the man a chance to come inside.  By the time Steve was walking to the front door, I’d already told the police the man was in the back and they were swarming our back yard.

We looked out the windows to watch what would happen.  A policeman noticed and asked Steve if our crawl space door had been open earlier.  It hadn’t been.  They immediately drew their guns and called for him to surrender then went inside to arrest him.

Juxtaposition:

our safe little world, our cozy house, our innocent boys, our focus on godliness, and

this dangerous world–also ours because we live in it, but not ours because we aren’t a part of it–where there is fear and crime and hatred and looking out for oneself more than others  

excitement

There was a sense of relief once the man running was in handcuffs, but for me there is also a sense of sadness at seeing a man’s freedom stripped from him.  I know it’s only fair and it’s a result of a lack of freedom in his heart.  Still I appreciate that the police treated him with respect–something I’ve observed more than once during arrests.

The search wasn’t over after the arrest.  The man had been pulled over for a traffic violation, but fled the scene instead of stopping.  Because of that, the police were suspicious he was driving a stolen vehicle. They continued searching our area until at least 11:00 when they finally found the vehicle.

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One neat part of this evening is how our neighbors pulled together.  Our neighbor who we talk with most had seen the man running down the hill across from us and tried to call to warn us.  We stood outside chatting with her and Steve also talked with some other neighbors, too.  It’s so neat to see little bits of connection happening over time, so that when something like this happens we rally together trying to look out for each other.

Zachary was also quite pleased that Bear played a role in the arrest.  Someone had seen the man jump over our back fence.  Our back yard is divided into two sections.  A small part of it is our back yard, and the rest is over grown and Bear’s territory. Just beyond that are a couple vacant lots that are very overgrown and perfect for hiding.  Apparently he jumped into Bear’s section, saw the dog and jumped right over the fence into our back yard.  From there he was easily cornered.

And my favorite detail in this story~ The boys had a difficult time settling down to sleep after all that excitement.  Even though the police are “the good guys” it can be unsettling for little ones to see so many guns and so much action right outside their windows.  They weren’t fearful anymore after we’d battled through it earlier, but just unsettled even though it was really late and they were tired.

We asked friends to pray for peace of mind and sleep free from nightmares for them, and so many people covered us with prayers. Within minutes all three boys went from restless to sleeping.  They all three slept very well and woke up happy and free this morning.  God’s care for us is so amazing every time!

Since living here I have been thankful so many times that fear is not a huge struggle for me. I have other battles, but because of our surroundings it’s a big blessing to not be easily afraid.  The only niggling fear I have now is that we assisted in the arrest and obviously the man arrested knows where we live.  It’s the kind of thing we need to commit to the Father and trust that He will continue protecting our family.  We would so appreciate you also praying about both protection and peace of mind.

We are still new enough to the city that this feels rather big and exciting to us. We are so thankful that we are all safe.

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22 thoughts on “An Arrest at Our House”

  1. interesting story! I am so thankful for God’s protection over you all. Jeff had a crazy experience like that in York…he helped a cop find the run away guy and later watched the poor guy get tazed.

  2. Hi Christy! :) Yes, I am thankful for Gods protecting hand!! We actually live a mile or so away from a prison…. ( for older folks). I would pry choose this location over citylife tho!:). Are you doing o.k these days?

  3. I noticed and admired your courage and passion for your mission there in Atlanta when I visited. It reflects greatly on your reaction even in this situation. When you KNOW God calls you somewhere you KNOW His protection and peace is with you. <3

    1. You said it perfectly. We have a deep seated peace even in a time like this because of feeling so clearly called to being here.

  4. Oh Christy! Wow, just wow. So thankful for God’s protection over your little family, and my favorite part of the story was hearing how God calmed the boys down to where they could sleep peacefully. And I understand your mixed feelings when the guy was actually arrested….I always wish there could be a second chance, with the ultimate goal being Spiritual freedom. But who knows? Maybe he was drawn to Jesus by your kindness to him…maybe there was a reason the arrest happened in your backyard.

  5. Oh wow! What excitement at your house!! I loved reading Steve’s version on Facebook and now your version :)
    I can’t believe how unbelievably calm Steve was through it all! Especially with the door being open beside the window! CRAZY!
    I could just picture you huddling in the bathroom praying – I want to be a mom like that! :)
    Glad ya’ll are safe and sound!

    1. Yeah, it was fun for me to read his version too. He is always so crazy calm. He didn’t even realize until afterward that door was open. It was just this crazy feeling knowing how easily that guy could’ve walked right into our house.

    1. Maybe, but when we moved here I kind of expected this kind of drama to be happening a lot more often than it does, so that probably helped prepare us.

  6. Oh wow that is amazing! So glad you are all OK. These things happen but are thankfully not usually a part of our city everyday, right? Like you, I feel pretty safe in the city. I’m careful, but not afraid.

    1. Yes, careful, but not afraid. That’s what I’ve said, too. I feel like I’m still learning what it means to be careful because that looks different than it would in the city.

  7. What a story! Glad everything turned out okay. It makes living in the country seem pretty tame!

  8. Oh, WOW. That would be an incredible rush of excitement/fear/adrenaline all at once. My favorite part is how you prayed with the boys for a while, and then still went out into the middle of it all. You are full of courage – it’s not just curiousity!! :) Continued prayers for your dear family…

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