Letter Re: Dealing With Mentally Unbalanced Trespassers

Regarding the recent post “Dealing With Mentally Unbalanced Trespasser, I’d like to begin with a relevant Bible passage, Matthew 25:31-45, King James Version (KJV):

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

Having dealt, one-on-one with many folks like the “Mentally Unbalanced Trespasser” in many positions over the years, I offer some insight.

1.  We naturally fear the unknown.  Jesus invites us to engage that fear and recognize that “unknown one” as him.  Easier said than done.

2.  Here’s the “done” part.  Offer the stranger food.  If he ignores you or refuses, offer it again.  How many times would you offer Jesus food if he initially regarded you with suspicion?  “Hey brother, have a cookie.”  “Would you like some water or lemonade?”  I have seen people who you might think were crazed from bath salts or meth (a diagnosis best left to the pros) relax and engage with me.  A little kindness calls the fellow to “wake from the trance” and perhaps remember he is one of God’s children.  Of course, we have to remember that he is one of God’s children first.  Of course, you can wear a sidearm as you offer the cookie.

3.  Hearthkeeper notes,  “The man went with the officers with no struggle thank goodness and we then gave our statements.”  Note especially the words “with no struggle”.  Peace officers are more and more being trained to calmly offer help to people “in the trance” (Drunk, drugged, possessed, or whatever.) When you approach the stranger with kindness, as if you are addressing Jesus, you are preparing for a time when there may be no 911.  Take turns, as part of your prepper practice,  play the role of the stranger and of the one offering kindness.  As we used to say in the Marine Corps, ‘Practice makes prepared.”   

4.  I’ll quote Hearthkeeper once more,  “We pressed charges for trespassing simply because the man otherwise would have been let go to terrorize some other family.”  Based on the description of his behavior, the stranger was simply pulling on the chicken wire and threatening no one.  We human beings often claim, in our fear, that someone has “terrorized” us.  This serves to detract from out power to respond to a situation.  In tactical situations, the better we can describe what is going on without ascribing power or intent to the other, the more effective is our response.  I’ll paraphrase Mother Theresa here, “Our challenge is to show kindness to Our Lord in all his repellent disguises.”

5.  I am in no way suggesting you become a bleeding-heart liberal.  I simply invite you, if you choose Jesus, to heed his words.  Certainly, you can keep the option of violent response ready in your hip pocket–or holster. – Dancing Marine