Like others passionate about a calling, what launched me into this mission was not just one event. Some things impacted me more than others. One of the most significant was the death of Dallas Police officer John Glenn Chase on Saturday, January 23rd, 1988. We lived in Texas then.
Chase had stopped a driver for a traffic violation in downtown Dallas when an antagonist pulled him into a side confrontation, then got control of his .44 magnum revolver. As young officer Chase begged for his life, people came out of a nearby McDonald’s yelling for the antagonist to “shoot him”. After he shot Officer Chase in the head, some yelled for him to “shoot him again.” He did.
Others sat in McDonalds, drove past or walked by without intervening. The thug killed him in front of a crowd of indifferent and unwilling witnesses. The senselessness of that scene has stuck with me for 33 years.
The next day our pastor (Glen Roachelle) told us, “Men! If you see something like that happening, the worst thing that could happen to you if you intervene, is that you will die.
8 years later I walked into a scene where an angry gunman with alleged explosives was holding 2 women at gunpoint in our ministry while ordering everyone else out of the building.
What I am about to disclose, is something I’ve never stated publicly. Standing there watching a determined gunman and terrified hostages was the scariest moment I had ever encountered at that time. It was not bravery, chivalry or training that kept me from leaving. It was the memory of John Chase and a pastor’s words, “… the worst thing that could happen…”
That is why, when everyone but the hostages and I were gone and the gunman ordered me out at gunpoint, I said the scariest thing I had ever said, “I can’t do that.” It got scarier from there.
Think About it:
That day, more than anything else, changed my life. Now I want to challenge it forward.
If the day comes that you see someone in desperation, the worst thing that could happen is that you might die helping. Would that be worse than living with the memory of being indifferent or unwilling?
If you die trying to help the innocent, we will ask your church to name a conference room after you.