That was my conversation opener for Good Friday morning. I was exhausted and my church was doing ‘Messy Church’, a service dedicated to kids. My kids are well trained in independence because of their delinquent father, so they ran off and started doing crafts. I leaned against the wall and told anyone within earshot about how my wife was wrestling men.
On Thursday nights, Keren works in a small drop-in clinic that caters to the needs of the homeless and marginalized in the community. It was a busy night (and if you know her, a very hectic past two weeks) and at the end of drop in, around 12am, Keren and the other nurse, Thebes, decided to debrief and relax at a pub next door.
What are my thoughts on my wife hanging around in bars at midnight? Well, I was at home, playing boardgames until 1am. She is cooler than me by far.
It wasn’t long until she saw the flashing lights and sirens outside a window. Thebes and Keren gave each other knowing looks that are normally indiscernible to clueless males like me. They went to the window and peeked out. Sure enough, one of their ‘guys’ was causing havoc and EMS had arrived on the scene.
Keren went downstairs to talk to them. EMS couldn’t take the guy in, since he wasn’t injured, but they were going to arrest him for causing a disturbance. Or, they offered, they could release him into Keren’s care. She accepted. (This was probably done with the same lack of foresight when she accepted my hand in marriage.)
The guy was pretty high and was causing enough ruckus to force others to walk on the opposite side of the street. They were able to get him to a small park beside Sanctuary and off the road, but his rantings woke up another guy sleeping on the bench. And here I learned why you don’t wake up homeless people on the street. These two guys were abused as children, and their abuser would often wake them from sleep. Being forcibly awakened sent the second guy into a PTSD attack and he gets up, eyes not even open, throwing punches. The first guy, already going through a PTSD incident, believes the other to be his abuser, and they start fighting.
Fists flailing, Keren and Thebes threw themselves between the two men. At one point, they had jumped on their backs, desperately trying to pin their arms and keep them from bashing their skulls into each other.
If this was a movie, the camera would shift to me. It is 1:30am, my boardgame geeks had left me, and I am wondering, “Where is my wife?” I call her cell phone, and I get a brief blip of voice, and then it cuts out. I call again, and it rings.
Camera cuts to Keren. She’s on the back of the man, her arms are trying to hold on to the guy who is hitting the other. There is yelling, there is screaming, there is anger, and there is her cell phone ringing.
Shift to me. The scene is quiet save for the muted sound of the phone ringing. I’m in the kitchen, wondering if I should order some fries.
Scene cuts back to Keren. The man she is failing to restrain is now bashing his forehead into the face of the other guy. There is blood all over him and all over her. She hears the phone ring. She shifts her elbow down so that she can answer it. She knows that it’s probably me calling. She wants to reassure me that she is safe, and she hopes that if I listen in, I can hear that she is ok.
Cut to me. The phone answers. No ones says “hello”. I hear angry men. They are unintelligible, but they are definitely angry. Many scenarios go through my head. None of them involve any feelings of reassurance.
The phone cuts out eventually. And I am left alone with the phone and an active imagination. I keep calling and eventually I do hear Thebes voice talking people down. This does reassure me. This means at least one of them is alive. I still haven’t heard Keren’s voice, but it sounds like business like usual, except it’s 2am.
By around 2:30am, the men finally pass out. They go back to a state which is deemed somewhat tolerable by societal norms and are, sadly, once again ignored. Keren has noticed that a sizable crowd had formed across the street in the parking garage. They were watching. But did any one of them call 911, or video it, or tweet it? No. I certainly couldn’t find it. What’s the world coming to if you can’t find your wife’s wrestling debut on youtube?
Keren does make it home by about 3am. In four hours, Zoe will wake up and come to the room to ensure her position as queen of the home. She may even bring Fluffytron to the bed just to solidify that we get no rest unless she deems it so.
In five hours, Ekko will join us. She will lie in our bed and she will talk to herself. She could do this anywhere else, say, in the basement restrained with duct tape. But no, she is in our room.
And that was the start of my Easter Weekend. 😀
Having said all that, Keren found it a very positive night. In the midst of the anger, the fighting, the abuse, the pain, the suffering… that is where she sees God. That is where she sees Him work.
I am on the internets a lot. It’s serious business. And when it comes to the topic of religion and spirituality, most consider themselves an expert. People postulate, people theorize, people tell me philosophical theories.
On the internets, I rarely get into the topic. I don’t like talking about it on the internet because I don’t know the other person. And a philosophy is nothing if I can’t observe your life. How does your worldview affect your actions? A most excellent life is probably tied to a most excellent philosophy.
But I see my wife care for people. I see my wife love people that most others spit on, abuse, curse, ridicule, berate, beat up, jail. She doesn’t tell others how to live. She doesn’t insist that your attitude, your theology, or your philosophy is wrong. She has better things to do with her time, and that’s care for other people.
There are so many people in the world that want to tell you “You’re doing it wrong!”. I hope I’m not that type of person. I hope I can be like my wife and exemplify by doing it right. 😀
And I hope next time my wife decides to go MMA on people, she gets a video.