I only needed a couple of things and we would be on our way. I debated whether I should go to Wal-Mart on a Saturday, but did not want to fight the lines that would surely be backed up into the clothing section. I chose Stop & Shop, which would be easier to get in and out faster. My girls and I selected our snacks for the party, then walked to the self check out registers and waited for our turn. There was a lot of hustle and bustle around us as everyone did their own thing, so the loud commotion down the main aisle did not bother me at first. I heard the loud stomping of feet, gasps of surprise, and felt the wind rush passed me as someone raced behind me. A lady's cart crashed as someone pushed it out of his way. I thought some teenagers were just having some fun, running around being crazy like they sometimes do. Then I heard someone whisper, "He was at the bank!" My original thought evaporated as a policeman came running after the young man, full speed ahead. The look on his face was intense, determined to catch the man before he caused any more harm. My eyes grew wide as I watched the shirtless young man slam into some shelves near the front entrance of the store, but he kept going right through the first set of doors. It was at the second set of doors that led outside where the police officer caught the young man by the shoulder and threw him down onto the ground.
People all around me stood, terrified at the scene that just had played out before our eyes. One lady began to cuss out the young man, but I gave her a look that warned her of my young girls standing right next to me and she immediately stopped and apologized. As if in slow motion, the activity began to pick up again when everyone knew the danger was passed. Leaving the man outside with two other cops, the policeman walked back into the store, took a deep breath, checked his arm as if he was looking for a wound or something, and then approached the young woman from the bank. He asked her if she was okay and she said yes.
Tonight, I cannot help but think of that young man who is most likely sitting in a jail cell right now, alone, bitter at the world. What caused this desperate attempt to steal some money, in front of a busy store where hundreds of people were trying to get their shopping done for the week? Does he have a mother out there somewhere? Does she love him? Is she weeping over the bad choices he has made in life? Is she praying for him to change his ways?
I pray for that young man, so desperate and alone. I pray he is in the Cheshire Correctional Center where he will have the opportunity to hear of God's love for him through the men from church that hold services up there every week. I pray God will get ahold of him and allow him another opportunity to make things right, and to make the right choices. May he ask Jesus into his heart and make his mother weep with joy and not grief. I would want the same for my sons. I am truly thankful the Lord watched over us today and kept us safe from harm. There are a lot of what-ifs going through my mind, but I am most thankful for the opportunity to pray for a young man, who needs the Lord, and maybe God will turn this misfortunate event into something good for him and his family.