It’s a true story, and it may change the way you think about police and race. Then again, you may already understand the lessons that others have to learn. Any way you slice it, though, it’s a harrowing incident.
He began to bark commands to me. He told me to open the center console so he could see the firearm. I did so slowly and loudly announcing each movement I was making.
He then told me to pick up the pistol “by the trigger guard with your thumb and forefinger.” At that time, believe it or not, I literally didn’t know what the word “forefinger” meant. So I hesitated and told him I didn’t know which finger he meant. That set him off even more and he began to scream at me to “do it now” then he said “don’t move” then he screamed again to “do it now” or he was “going to shoot me in the face.” He was also using various profanities but I don’t even remember what all he said.
I offered to allow him to handcuff me through the window and retrieve the firearm himself because I told him his instructions were confusing me. He did not calm down but at least he clarified that forefinger means index finger. I’d had simply never heard that before. I told him I was going to follow his commands but that I was terrified he was going to shoot me. He told me I was right to be scared because if I didn’t do exactly as he said he was going to shoot me.
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“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
The text of today’s cantata is available here and complements the Gospel reading well:
I am a Good Shepherd; a good shepherd gives up his life for his sheep.
Jesus is a good shepherd;
for He has already given His life
for His sheep,
so that no one will steal them from Him.
Jesus is a good shepherd.
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