By The Rev. Allen Breckenridge
In the manner of the old Victorian serial short stories by Charles Dickens & more recent writers like Tom Wolfe & Eric Kraft
Two weeks ago you read the story of Liz Durham's "interesting shopping encounter" and I posed some questions for you:
What do you think was going on? How would you have dealt with this dilemma? What was the turning point in the story? And where did faith play a role in this incident?
Here are my thoughts and possible learnings to take away. Please note that students address one another and the instructors with last names and Sir/Ma'am out of respect.
Mrs. Durham's very interesting encounter illustrated how some self-defense training and mental/physical conditioning can enable one to engage situations that might call for a choice: Do I get involved and help despite the potential threat? How do I engage someone without escalating the situation? Do I feel confident to be tested in this moment?
While we don't know the details of the persons' strange and seemingly threatening behavior, we do know what did happen. Elizabeth rose to the moment and made an ethical choice. She paid attention to her intuition which kept everyone, including herself, safe. Without offending anyone involved, she acted as an engaged witness and removed the element of surprise by addressing the stiuation directly. She gained personal insight and made a difference in several peoples lives by trying to do the right thing as guided by her conscience, courage and faith. And Elizabeth has been a witness by reflecting faithfully on her experience and sharing a bit of her story with others. No doubt, prayer and the abiding presence of Jesus supported her throughout this experience.
Needless to say, I advanced Elizabeth to first stripe on her beginner's white belt as she left class...for now! We bid Elizabeth farewell for a while, thank her for sharing a bit of her story, and look forward to her return in the winter. God-speed and safe travels, Mrs. Durham!
If you'd like to learn more about these classes, our philosophy and system of training, and possible ways this program might benefit you, a member of your family or friends, please join us and check out the Spirit Dojo's offerings, Monday and Wednesdays, from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall. Call me at 808-4073 or email at TheSpiritDojo@msn.com.