Don’t Shoot – I Work Here!

Ok. So, apparently, not only do I look too young to be some kind of pastor – I also look like a hooligan! (At least at 1:00 in the morning.) Last night, I was leaving the office after having worked on a paper that’s due this weekend. As I walked to my car, I noticed a car with a spotlight driving slowly through a group of storage rentals across the street. It seemed to be a police car, but then it seemed to be coming across the street toward me.

What should I do? Drive away and have them chase me down? Hide and hope they didn’t see me? Just sit and wait?

I decided on another option. I closed my door – I wasn’t quite in yet – and walked around to the front of my car, facing the officer’s car.
Commence yelling “Get back in your car, sir!”
“But I wasn’t in my car – is something wrong.”
“Get back in your car.”
“Are you looking for someone?”
“Get back in your car.”

This was not the right option. I think it set the officer on edge and set the tone for the rest of what happened. I had a million things flying through my head. ‘Keep your hands out and don’t make any sudden moves’ was prominent among them. I got back in my car and waited as the officer came and asked what I was doing here at the church so late, license and registration, etc. When I told her I was a youth pastor here, she called in to see if there were any outstanding warrants for my arrest! Do youth ministry and warrants really go together that concretely?

I offered to take her into the building, where I could give her a visitor packet that has my name on it to verify that I really was a pastor there. She took my up on the offer (I think she thought she was calling my bluff), but she didn’t keep the visitor packet.

Sufficiently convinced that I did indeed work here at the church, (and more importantly to her that there were no warrants she could exercise and arrest me) she told me I could go – but gave me a warning about how this was pretty “unusual”. The whole thing was kind of weird. But at least I know that next time I’m here late, there’s someone else around who will confront anyone suspicious… that and “stay in the car!”

3 Replies to “Don’t Shoot – I Work Here!”

  1. My wife once got pulled over after leaving a scrapbooking thing at our last church. She had locked up, crossed the highway and was promptly stopped and questioned. The funniest part was she didn’t have any ID. But when the cop questioned her about the names of the pastors at church and she knew them, she was let off the hook.

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