Papa Ed

Fear And Loathing With A Dash Of Anger

When my dad retired about 15 years ago, along with wood crafting and front porch sitting, he took up metal detecting.  It’s been a great way for him to be out and about, get some exercise and occasionally bring home a treasure or two. 

He keeps a tally of his findings and on average he digs up a couple of hundred dollars in loose change every year.  He also digs up a shoebox full of Hot Wheels cars which he cleans up and gives away to grandkids or neighborhood kids or any other kid he happens to come across.

One morning last week, the weather was still nice so Dad decided he would go metal detecting one last time before it gets too cold.

He was walking in a familiar and well travelled area, near a school and across from a church, when he noticed a teenage boy walking towards him.  For whatever reason, he got a bad vibe and decided to head for his car. The kid came up to my dad and asked him for some money. My dad said “no” and kept walking. The kid grabbed at him.  My dad swung his metal detector and whacked him good upside the head, hard enough that it busted a chunk off the base.  My dad lost his balance and fell backwards to the ground. At that point, the criminal got up, pointed a gun at my dad and demanded his wallet.  Of course my dad handed it over. The kid took the cash, all of $21, threw the wallet down and ran off.

Since I found out about this incident, I have been sick to my stomach thinking of what could have happened. And I have also been thanking God over and over and over for what didn’t happen.

My dad twisted his back when he fell, but other than that he is no worse for the wear. He is 76 years old and for all intents and purposes he kicked that kid’s ass and I take pleasure in that.  A lot of pleasure.

I suppose I should be praying for that kid, that he will turn from his evil ways, but what I really find in my heart right now is the desire that he rot in hell.  When you mess with my kid or my parents all bets are off.

I am a Christian, just not a very good one.

84 thoughts on “Fear And Loathing With A Dash Of Anger

  1. Stuff like this makes “turn the other cheek” seem absolutely absurd and nearly impossible, if not entirely impossible. With you on the “just not a very good one” thing.

    So glad you dad is okay.

  2. This actually made me teary. Your dad, 76, putzing along with his metal detector, being assulted by some punk. I understand your feelings, and I am so glad he is okay. I am also so proud of him for being strong.

  3. I think I would pray that the WRATH OF GOD would be rained down on that young boy! I am doing Beth Moore’s Patriarch’s study, and this week we looked at rape of Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, and how his sons retaliated. The Lord was not pleased, but I like to think His wrath was played out over the years for those who victimized that young girl. I think the wrath of God would have to be worse than anything we could do to that young man. I’m so thankful that he is OK!

  4. You hear of these types of incidents every day, yet they are no less shocking, and we always say ‘what is this world coming to?’Last week my neighbour next door was robbed of their dirt bike, and the convenience store visible from my front window was broken into. You may be thinking I live in a large urban area, complete opposite, I live in rural Ontario, in a small town of 5000 people. Sad to say, but I guess this is just a sign of the times. I’m glad your dad is okay.

  5. How scary! I’m so glad your dad is okay. My father is 78 and rides his bike a lot in areas where there isn’t a lot of traffic. I often worry someone could assault him and he would be left there.

    Yes, praying for this kid’s soul would be the thing to do, but your anger is more than understandable. We want to defend the ones we love.

  6. i’m so glad your dad is ok!
    and imho, your reactions and feelings are perfectly normal. being christians doesn’t make us perfect, just forgiven!

  7. I think you’re a great Christian with a lot of human tendencies. Just like the rest of us.

    I’m extremely thankful that your dad is okay, but I’m more thankful that he whooped that kid up side his head. Maybe the punk will think next time before he assumes that no one will fight back.

    Don’t worry about the praying bit, AM. I’ll pray for the boy since I’m slightly removed from the situation. But believe you me, part of that prayer will be that he suffers hard consequences for his actions. Maybe what that boy needs is a good, sounding pummel to let God drill some sense into his noggin.

  8. So, so, sorry for what your dad went through. We had a neighbor who was trafficking in homemade illegal substance. WHOO! was I a wrathful momma bear! I did NOT want to pray blessing on that evil person! Then I had an epiphany, God isn’t about to bless him by increasing his ability to prosper in evil. Maybe God would bless him with a little (or a lot of)time in a state paid living environment. This kid IS headed straight for hell, he may even be living in an addiction induced hell. and God is very Wrathful. about what he did to your lovely father. However God still desires to bless him, which could be a very painful experience, not all blessings are easy to see while you’re in them. Maybe you could find it in your heart to pray that God would bless this boy by sending him to jail, and a rehab progam, or maybe someone who looks like an easy target could apply the “board of learning to the seat of education”
    I hope the “target” wears a size 13 boot.

    Mrs N

  9. Good for your dad! And I know you are a great Christian woman.

    I bet that punk is addicted to drugs.

    I pray that as he uses your dad’s money he physically gets sick to his stomach and calls out for God and repents.

  10. I cried over the story about your dad. My dad is the same age. That generation of sweet men who got up early every day, did more than their share, and never complained. It is so unfair when gentle men are hurt.

    Fear brings out the worst emotions in me. If I am frightened, I want to strike back to protect my loved one or protect myself. I know that we are called on to forgive not to condone the perpertrator’s actions, but to free us from the bitterness, anger and power fear can have over our lives. Fear can become a wicked master.

    Not that I actually am able to do this on a regular basis…. Just saying what I strive to do…

  11. Good for Grampa! If nothing else, that kid will think twice before going after someone else. We don’t know why the kid did what he did, but hopefully this event will give him a wakeup call. Glad your dad is okay.

  12. The older I get, the more I find myself saying “What’s the world coming to?”. My mom used to say it all the time. I now know what the feeling is, behind the words, when she used to say them.



  13. Oh, AM, that brought tears to my eyes. How horrible! I can only imagine how sick that must’ve made you feel.

    Yes, you’re a very good Christian–and a very good daughter. I’m with you on the rotting in hell thing.

  14. I am so glad your dad is alright. I think rage at violent people is exactly how God feels, so it’s right that we feel it too. It’s where we are supposed to start. The other stuff comes later.

  15. I am glad to hear that your Dad is OK. And I completely understand your feelings about this!!
    A similar thing happened to my cousin’s son in NYC. Three young criminals held a gun to his head and stole his wallet. One of them told the other to shoot him, and for whatever reason, he didn’t. God must have been watching out for him that day, as this could have had a tragic ending. Praise God that neither he nor your Dad was seriously injured or killed. Scary world we live in, isn’t it?

  16. AM I would not catagorize yourself as a bad Christian. We all would think pretty much the same that is your Dad. That is why we need God!

    Thank God that your Dad is ok, many blessings to you and your family!

  17. Thank God your father is ok. It is only natural to want to protect those closest to us… you are not a bad Christian for the way you feel.

  18. Your feelings are real. I am glad that your dad is ok. Thank God for his protection. We had a burglary/break in at our home last week. I just give thanks that we weren’t home when it happened, that they don’t appear to have taken anything just made a little mess and broke the window. My first instinct was one of pure anger,rage etc. that they were in our house etc. Then we realized that we must pray for the people that broke in our house as they don’t know the Lord. I also believe everyone will someday have to answer for their actions so the punk that robbed your father will answer as well.

  19. You are a very good Christian. You have emotions and feelings just like all of us. If it were our parents we would feel the same. I’m so glad he is okay and for that kid…..he will get his. One day.

  20. Oh my goodness, that is terrible! I am so sorry that happened to your Dad, it makes me want to cry!

    I don’t think your anger says anything about your Christianity. God made us to be protective.
    You’re a daughter, you’re a Mother.

    I wouldn’t hesitate one bit to defend my family with force.
    As far as revenge is concerned…God just said…let ME handle it! And He promises us, it WILL be handled!

    Rom 12:19-21
    19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
    “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
    In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
    21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

  21. Hi AM, So glad your dad is okay. The story just hit me in the gut. Last year in Arlington, TX my husband’s cousin was stopped by a mugger. He handed over the wallet. The punk took the wallet, shot him and ran off. The cousin died. He was with his fiance when this happened and they were 3 weeks away from the wedding. He was his mother’s only son.

    Your story just brought back the memory. Your anger is very very understandable.

  22. At least the Lord gave your dad a warning about that man so that he could be on his guard. What kind of a person would rob a 76 year old man? And, truth be told, if he doesn’t change his ways, he will be rotting in hell.

  23. You’re not a bad Christian, you are normal! I would be angry at the little punk, too! I am glad that your daddy is ok. I am glad that your dad had the metal detector to whack him at least once.

  24. Yeah to your dad for defending himself against this thug – hopefully he knocked some good sense into that guy with the metal detector up side the head! So glad to hear your dad is OK. How awful 🙁

  25. Oh, I feel angry for your poor dad, too. A hefty “way to go” to him for fighting back, though. I hope that kid’s got a big bruise to remember his stupidity by.

  26. What a jerk that kid is!! I’m so glad your dad is alright. I completely understand your feelings and I think they are justified.

  27. It doesn’t matter what religion you are. Anyone that is so specious to attack an old man deserves to rot in jail. I hope your dad reported this assault to the police and is working with them to catch his jerk. Assaulting anyone is despicable, but an elderly man minding his own business. For $21? Outrageous!

  28. when my husband died all those years ago there was very bad blood between his mother and myself. i wont go into it, but it was justified. everyone told me not to feel that way, don’t let her send you to hell, blah, blah, blah. until i met the new irish priest in town. he told me, of course you’re mad at her, and it is perfectly natural and all right to be furious with her. anyone would be! there will always be a special place in my heart for that man, i began to heal that day, and found my way back to the church. all of this to say, of course you feel the way you do! it’s perfectly natural and it’s ok! there would be something wrong if you didn’t. i know this because a nutty irish priest told me so, and in telling allowed me to feel my anger and begin to get over it! glad you dad is ok, i might have to kill some thug that hurt mine!!

  29. Righteous anger girl – that is what you have!! This guy needs to be taken off the streets before he hurts someone else and I pray that the police find him soon!! Thank God your dad is ok…I hope he’s not too sore from his fall. Sounds like your dad must be pretty discerning if he just looked at this guy and knew he needed to head in the opposite direction….

  30. You know, I just keep looking for the right words, but I can’t find them. I’m just so glad that your dad is ok, although I imagine it’s rattled him a bit more than anyone would admit. Just going to the hospital with a heart attack was incredibly tough on my dad.

  31. My heart goes out to you and your father. The only person here who wasn’t being a “good christian” was the guy who held a gun to your dad.

    God protected your dad, and we are all thankful for your family today that this wasn’t worse.

  32. So, so sorry for your dad and for you. How scary for both of you! Thank God for His amazing protection.

    Though your dad is overall ok physically, how is he emotionally? Aging can be so difficult anyway — how disheartening to be bullied by a child (a young man, realistically, but a baby to your dad). Praying that his heart and internal fortitude will remain strong as his body strengthens.

  33. I am so sorry – that is awful. And like you, I would take great pleasure in knowing that my daddy kicked some hooligan’s behind. But I would be sick to my stomach every single time I thought about it.

  34. I was thinking the exact same thing as Amanda, I’ll be praying the same way too 🙂 How awesome that he was able to whack the kid in the head, hopefully it gave him something to think about.

  35. Makes you wonder what’s in the mind of a youngster who is so desperate for money that he’d threaten an older man, and then steal from him. Most probably it became drug money, as that seems to be the motive these days for such horrid acts. Kids do things way beyond their knowledge of right and wrong when under pressure of addiction. So sad for everyone involved.

  36. When I first starting reading this post, I was thinking “Hey that’s so cool! My retired dad just bought a metal detector, and joined a metal detecting club in Galveston.” But then I read the rest….so sad. I hope he continues his new found hobby.

  37. So, so sorry to hear about your dad. I hope I have that much spice when I am 76. And I hope he takes good care of his back; those things can linger, at any age.

  38. The forgiveness for those like the kid you’ve described is always easy to idealize, not so easy to truly feel in your heart. It’s one of the things about my faith I have so much passion and curiosity about.

    I truly believe that there can’t be a ranking of sin – will one sin sinnier than another sin? When we stand in judgement, will He say, “Now THIS sin was the one that really upset me, not this one, or this one so much….”

    I believe in the complete forgiveness of every human, no matter what their actions. And the chance for their salvation (which is part of why I can’t support the death penalty)… but when it hits home, it’s easy for all those beliefs to get thrown out the window for the raw emotion. (for example, I don’t know how forgiving and kind I would feel in my heart to anyone who laid a finger on my son, husband, etc.)

    Whew. It really is something one could discuss at great length, isn’t it?

    I’m glad your dad is okay. Really. All too often stories like that end differently.

    I hope that kid gets straightened out.

  39. The number of Mother Teresas in the world is…oh yeah…one. We’re all flawed Christians. But that dude that tried to wail on your dad is big time flawed. I am so proud of your dad. My dad is 75 and he’d probably do the same thing. Something about that generation…fiesty.

    P.S. I want to have a metal detector when I’m in my 70’s.

  40. I echo Melissa above. GO GRANDPA! Hope you show your dad all these supportive posts.

    WWJD? (Is that still said, somewhere?) Jesus probably would have set down his Grace Detector and just stared at that kid until his sinful heart was anealed. Most of us can’t do that.

    We Christians gotta stick up for ourselves and each other, and smite the Philistines where we find them. Once smote, they’re straightened out. Maybe unconscious. Or not.

  41. Righteous indignation–perfectly acceptable! Your father was wronged, and you honor & respect your father, a Child of God. Yes, that thug is a Child of God, too, but he opbviously doesn’t know it, yet. So, sure, pray for him, but be mad at him for a good long while. The Lord totally understands!! None of us is yet perfected in our faith–we reach toward the goal, always hoping to attain, but ever conscious of our human nature. God bless you for even trying to get that straight in your heart!!

  42. Oh my gosh, this is awful. How great that your dad fought back. The fact that you know you should forgive, is a good thing. I don’t know I would be able to do much more than that either.

  43. I am glad that your father is OK. I am also glad that your Dad got a good whack in on that kid. Maybe he knocked some sense into him. It could happen. Your feelings toward that punk are totally understandable.

    See you this weekend.

  44. I am so sorry that your father had to go through this scary event. There is something about preying on the elderly that is especially heartbreaking, and when it is your very own daddy… It sounds like he has very good instincts, both to feel that something wasn’t right and then later to hand over his wallet. He is a strong man. I think all of your feelings are totally justified. All of them.

  45. Just the thought of this PUNK targeting your Dad puts knots in my stomach! You can bet the PUNK is supporting a drug habit, and will keep on until someone gets seriously hurt, or he get’s caught, and put away. Thankfully your Dad got in a good lick; just to bad he didn’t knock the dude out cold. Anyone doing harm to any of my family; I share the same sentiments as you….and I do not feel we are in the minority,nor would I feel the need to apologize.

  46. I’m so sorry to read about what happened to your Dad. It’s a crazy world we live in. I’m just glad he was able to get his licks in and that the thug did not use the gun. *shudder*

    Yeah my thoughts toward that kid aren’t too charitable either!

  47. So sorry this happened to your Dad. Glad he is okay and hope he will be back to normal soon. I will pray for all of you to make sense of this situation and I will give thanks that he is okay.

  48. I disagree that the desire to see justice served takes the “shiny” off your religious beliefs. I think it makes you a human being. And? Good on your father for whacking that loser upside the head. I hope it leaves a mark.

  49. AM,

    I am so, so sorry about this. I’m sick to my stomach even after reading all the comments. I hope Papa Ed gave him a slow brain bleed w/the wack. How’s that for christian? No, seriously, you have every right to feel the way you do and I don’t believe that God would consider it “unchristian”. I believe that he gave us these emotions to help us protect ourselves. To help us understand right from wrong and to do right by those who need help. He also gave us “free will” to do right w/the tools he’s given to us. Your sense of protectiveness is the correct response. Wanting to hurt the guy for hurting yours, exactly right. (I have no doubt if you’d been there, the guy would’ve been wishing he’d picked someone else.) If you were to act out on now, (ie–going after the guy when he’s in custody or something) that would fall into that free will thing and probably not really be what God intended for us to do with those emotions. (But hey, who I’m I to question, I could be wrong on that too.) The point is that given the opportunity would you actually try to do something to help that jerk so that he could learn to help others instead of hurting them. I think that you would. I believe you would do your best to help whomever was in need; Papa Ed and that Punk. THAT is what makes all the difference.

  50. That is so sad. Glad your Dad is OK! Way to go Papa ED! I think I would feel the same if it had been my Dad. But I also have mixed feelings about this.

    Your Dad really could have been hurt. I would rather him give up $21 dollars than be hurt. That kid is on a path of destruction. Eventually he will destroy his own life. I just pray he self destructs before he hurts someone else! Really! How pathetic is that kid’s life if he is robbing and older man (who was looking for loose change) at gun point!

  51. Oh, AM! I’m so sorry that happened to your Dad. Good for him for listening to that “vibe”. My neighbor’s Dad had a similar situation, only this Dad was attending to his lawn mowing business when he was approached by someone who gave him that bad “vibe”, so he armed himself with the commercial grade weed-eater. As the guy demanded cash and keys, Dad also said “No” and the kid whipped out a gun at the same time Dad fired up the weed-eater, whacked him down and proceeded to run it full blast right up the guy’s midsection. Needless to say, he ran away a bloody pulp and they were able to find him in one of the local hospitals. It’s not his first offense and he’s going to the big house for a long time.
    Anyway, just thought I’d share. SO GLAD your Dad is ok! Go Grandpas!!!!!!

  52. Oh I’m so VERY sorry to hear this! I’m so glad your dad is ok. I also must admit that I’m really glad he beat that kid upside the head!!
    Remember, the Bible never teaches that anger is sin–it’s what we do with that anger that can turn into sin. Your anger is an appropriate emotion.
    I hope your father is feeling completely better now.

  53. I’m so sorry this happened to you. I am caretaker to my 72 year old mother, and I get nervous every time she leaves the house. It makes me nauseous to think about how remorseless people are these days. I’m so glad your dad is ok. I hope nothing ever stops him from enjoying life.

  54. As a christian it is hard sometimes to come to terms with those angry feelings for that young man. All Gods creatures have a purpose right??

    Right now he serves as a bad example… we can all pray that he finds a better purpose in life.

    Glad your dad will be OK… and I hope this doesn’t keep him from enjoying his life.

  55. Horrifying. But it’s always a thrill to me when the supposed weak victim leaves his mark – like the bank customer who tackled the robber and then told him off while they waited for the police. People are getting tired of it.

    As for the robber, a pastor once said to me “You will forgive. Sometimes it just takes a little time.” We feel what we feel.

    Meantime, if that young man were saved, it would be the last robbery he would ever pull, his children, if any, would not be raised by someone in a drug-induced stupor, he would get a job, and history would be changed. His ugly path would change to a straight, clean one. We would have one less robber in this world.

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