Stranger danger

Stranger danger

Something happened to me a week or so ago and I haven’t been able to shake it from my mind. I took Hannah to a park a few miles down the road from our house. There’s an ice cream place nearby, so we got a couple cups and walked over to the playground. The park isn’t in a bad neighborhood, but it’s getting close to areas you wouldn’t want to be in come nightfall. Anyway, the sun is setting, so Han only has a few minutes to play. I sit on a bench and notice an older man sitting on the bench across from me. He’s got a couple bags and is talking to someone on hs cell phone.

All of a sudden, he asks if I have a pen. I tell him no. What’re the first things that run through my head?

This guy is weird – He’s going to kill Hannah and I – Why did he talk to me

At that point, about 30 seconds pass, and he gets up and walks over by me

Grab Hannah and run – we’re going to die – is he going to mug me

He sits on the bench next to me and starts to talk


It turns out, he used to live in the neighborhood. We talked about taxes, houses, schools and jobs. He was just looking for someone to talk to. It took me a while to get comfortable with him talking to me though.

I can’t shake this experience because how many other people have just wanted to talk, but I ran? How many strangers are just looking for a sliver of human contact, but we’re too busy texting, laptop-ing, or everything else we do?


  1. Christine Henry

    Okay, I have been there. Scares the crud out of ya. I was at a mini mart one day. These gansta looking guys pulled up in their hoopty and were buying beer. They said hello to me, not sure why, but I just felt God telling me to share the Gospel. I don’t normally start talking to a bunch of guys that are probably packing AK’s but they actually wanted to hear what I had to say. The guy in the back seat said, “Thank you ma’am, I really needed to hear this today-how did you know?’. I am thankful that God gave me the strength to do this. We need to listen to him instead of our feelings. He will take care of us. Cool post!

  2. erichter


    Looking back, I feel bad for not having a more meaningful conversation with him. Chances are I’ll never see him again. Maybe this was just part of my training… 🙂

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  4. John Bieker

    Eric – great learning opportunity – thanks for sharing it. It brings to mind that verse about being prepared in every season. Next time you’ll knock ’em dead 🙂 With the move, Susan and I are getting to know our new neighbors and are excited to see what opportunities will arise …

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