Tacoma Pastor Stabbed
This past week, a pastor in Tacoma, Washington was stabbed by an irate parishioner. This parishioner showed up during services, angry and “ranting”. The pastor took him aside (alone) to calm him down in his office. Once the pastor started to fear for his safety, he picked up the phone to dial 911.
It was at this point the man stabbed him in the shoulder. The pastor is recovering, however the doctors said the metal would have pierced his heart had a bone not stopped the stabbing.
My prayers go out to the pastor, his family, and the other parishioners.
There are some lessons to be learned here about safety in the church. With the parishioner being so visibly angry and irate, it might have been good for the pastor to have someone with him to help calm the parishioner down. It would also have been better for the meeting to happen in a place where the person did not feel so “trapped”, where the upset person had more space to move, as well as more space for the pastor to move away from the parishioner.
Let’s take this opportunity to learn from this tragic, savage assault and consider this a teaching moment about the need to be aware of our surroundings when dealing with an angry, hurting person. Handle them with care. Work with them in kindness. But be aware of the possibility of irrational action, and be prepared to act accordingly.
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