I just read a most terrifying blog post. A woman wrote about a fence she is building on her 10 acre rural property. She has two boys around 10 years of age, and two dogs. And one crazy neighbour.
The neighbour is angry that the dogs bark. Now, they don't bark incessantly, but they do bark at animals (like squirrels) and strangers. His course of action? He started firing his gun.
The woman, grabbed her kids and dogs and fled into the house. After calming down and having a discussion with her husband, they decided the best course of action would be to talk with the neighbour. A friendly conversation ended with the offer for the neighbour to call if the dogs were bugging him, and the woman would put them inside the house. Everything seemed fine.
Then a few days later, the dogs were barking again. And the shots rang out, again. The neighbour was yelling and swearing at the dogs and shooting into the air as he was coming down the woman's driveway. He confronted her at her front door, and she wrote she smelled alcohol on his breath (it was 11am). She called the police. By the time they came, he was gone.
And she learned something even more terrifying - there was nothing she could do. He was not allowed to trespass on her property, but there is no law preventing him from shooting his gun from his own property line. Which is what he did a few days later: roamed up and down their property line shooting in the air.
What on earth? I'm in shock and disbelief. How could this be happening, literally in our own backyards?
I do want to note one more thing on this story, to demonstrate the incredible love God can grant to our hearts. The woman made three decisions regarding this situation:
1) She would not buy a gun (as was suggested to her). Fighting violence with violence is not the answer, and two guns are more dangerous than one gun. And, in her words: "The only thing worse that an angry drunk with a gun would be a menopausal protective mother with a gun."
2) She would build a fence around a small area to keep the dogs close by.
3) She would pray. For safety for her and her family. For forgiveness toward the neighbour to fill her heart. And for the neighbour. If he is this touchy and angry, there is probably something much deeper going on.
We may feel that violent crimes are overrunning us. But we never have to feel like there is nothing we can do. The best advice for life: handle with prayer.