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a personal plea

Yesterday, my wife and I took one of our daughters and a friend to the Denver Zoo (it was free day!).  The weather was a bit cool but sunny and the afternoon was mainly enjoyable.

Except for the end.

As we were leaving, we were walking behind a lady pushing her baby in a stroller.  Walking next to her was a man yelling and cursing at her.  Not surprisingly, he was obviously drunk.  He was saying the most vile things to her, often getting right up in her face.  She never said a word and just kept walking.

When he started jabbing at the baby, cussing and waving his arms, I decided to walk up behind the lady to see if she needed help.  I spoke up and told her to turn into one of the buildings.  She kept walking.  At that point, the drunk guy called me “superman” (how he knew, I’ll never know) and asked me if I wanted to “get involved.”

I assumed he wasn’t talking about developing a significant relationship.  I told him to settle down, that I was just trying to be nice.  At this point, another guy from the crowd walked up beside me and tried to create a shield between the drunk guy and the lady.

Tonya spoke with a zoo worker and the zoo worker notified security.  When we got to the exit, a security guard stopped the lady and asked if she was alright.   He asked if they were together and she nodded “yes.”  At this, the security walked away and the couple continued through the parking lot — with the man continuing to yell and scream at her.

We walked to our car and decided to follow them through the parking lot to see if anything happened.  At no point did we ever see the young lady say a word to the man.  After following them for several minutes, they arrived at a bus stop and we went on our way.

For the next two hours I had an awful feeling in my stomach.  My heart ached for the young lady, for her baby.  I wondered if he acted like this in public, what did he do in private?  Did he hit her?  I’m not a betting man but …

Tonya asked me, “Why do women stay with men like that?”  You’ve probably thought the same thing.  Maybe you’ve done the same thing.

If you or anyone you know is in an abusive situation — get out!  Seek help.  Talk with a pastor.  You might feel trapped but please know there is hope.