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Dear Bishop S.

Dear Bishop S,

I am writing to express my thanks to you for helping out in a recent, difficult situation in which I found myself. I was strolling through Kenan park the other day. It's a beautiful park, and even though the weather was superb, there were fewer than the usual number of children on the playgrounds.

Well, as I was coming around one of the many corners on the 3 mile path, there in one of the more secluded areas of the park I could see that a wild-looking man had taken a young girl, probably 10 or 11 years old. There he was, trying to hide behind some rather straggly bushes, attempting to molest the girl whom he had gagged with a rag of some sort to keep her from screaming.

Well, I didn't know what to do, but then I remembered some things I'd heard you say, and it gave me the inspiration for action. I knew that the first step was to try to go for the help of others, because it is always wrong to act unilaterally. But, unfortunately, if I had run for help, chances are good I would have been too late. So I immediately did what any good Methodist would do. I began to negotiate with him. First, I asked him to please stop what he was doing. After all, he is a child of God, and I thought it prudent to treat him with all due respect. I tried to be as polite and kind toward him as I could. As you yourself have said so many times, we're supposed to love our enemies.

I was hoping he would cease his terrible actions immediately, but he didn't. I couldn't even get him to talk to me, so I raised my voice....well, just a little. You know, I didn't want to scare him into doing something worse. I've heard that his kind sometimes carry deadly weapons on their person...knives, razor blades, maybe even a gun.
I told him I thought it best, if he did have any of those deadly weapons, he should probably take them out of his pockets and carefully place them on the ground. I was hoping he would disarm, and I really think he was
considering it.

Meanwhile he was squeezing the little girl tighter and tighter. I could tell she was having a hard time breathing the way he was squeezing her and with the gag in her mouth and all. I really felt sorry for her, and for a moment, a weak one I admit, I almost took the knife out of my pocket with the intent of making a sudden lunge for him before he could get his weapons out. But then I remembered how you said we are supposed to be peace makers. Any way, if I had done that I might have got myself AND the little girl killed, so I again tried talking to him.

Meanwhile, I noticed the terrible sense of horror in that innocent girl's eyes.

Well I think it's just like you said, Bishop. The more I talked, the more I think I was getting to this guy. He finally started talking to me. He said that he promised he would let the little girl go in just a little while, if I would promise to leave him alone and not bother him. And I think he was real sincere, too.

Unfortunately, just as I was making this good progress, this other guy came walking along the same path I had just traveled. Without even stopping to ask my advice, in fact, as if he didn't even notice me standing there, he pulled a knife out of his pocket, ran head-long toward the molester and buried the knife in his stomach. When he was sure he had disabled the man, he freed the little girl and held her in his arms as she began to sob. Soon police were there and everything was over. Sure enough they did discover a knife and a handgun in the molester's

You'll probably read about this sad incident in the paper, but I just wanted you to know that your method was really working. I think the guy and me had just about worked out an agreement. I really think he was going to let her go when I walked away. Too bad it didn't work out that way. I understand he's in the ICU at the hospital and will probably die from his wound. Isn't that real sad?

Your honorable servant,

Faithful Methodist

P.S. It does bother me just a little that this other guy is being paraded around like a hero. The little girl's parents have really been praising him in the media. Oh well, maybe next time, if there is a next time, I won't have that sudden interruption and I'll be the hero!

D. Tilly
Newbern, TN 


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