Like nearly every Sunday morning, I'm getting ready to go to Sunday School/Church. I like my church, it's a 'praising church' and the pastor is awesome. I got in my car and prepped to drive the couple of miles it takes to get to my church. On that empty road just ahead of me was Bob a.k.a. "Bicycle Bob" the local child molester. The police told our neighborhood watch that Bob was a convicted child molester who was moving in around our area and we had a right to know this. I also knew the victim and his family.
There was Bob on the same empty road as me, peddling that red bicycle of his. It did flash through my mind, 'I could run him off the road. Nobody would see me do it and his body wouldn't be found for days.' Yes, I was having murderous thought on my way to church. My personal belief is that these monsters never can be cured so the less of them there are, the better. Needless to say, I passed old Bob and I went to Sunday School.
After Sunday School, we all went up to the sanctuary for the sermon. I took my usual seat in the middle. I put my stuff away in my purse, took out my Bible and was ready for our 'lesson.' But when I looked up...there sat Bob! Third row center. Right in my field of vision.
Steve Harvey has a standup comedy special called, "Don't Trip...God Ain't Through with Me Yet." HE also is far from through with me because I sat there in stunned disbelief that "Bicycle Bob" was in MY church. There was a convicted child molester in God's House! Surely, I'm not the only one in here that knows Bob or at least "about Bob." Then I thought, 'he does have the right to worship anywhere he pleases, right?' His presence really is 'none of my business, right?' 'I'm supposed to be a Christian, right?' 'Love the sinner, hate the sin, right?" "Cast the first stone and all that, right?" Sorry, God ain't through with me either! If I had had a stone, I would've hurled it directly at "Bicycle Bob"!
I could feel my heartbeat in my carotid arteries as I stared at the back of Bob's head. 'He must be wanting to start coming here before Bible School starts so he can pick another little boy to groom then violate, I thought. That's a horrible thing to think! But that IS what he did before according to the policeman who met us at our neighborhood community building all those weeks ago.
I then fixed my eyes on the pastor as he delivered his sermon but I didn't hear a single word. The thoughts in my head kept drowning him out. Here's a sample:
'Somebody in authority should know about Bob. He's served his time. Maybe this is the only place he can go. Are there any children on the same pew with him? Is he trying to get some "credit by association" sitting in the Dean family's pew? Is he thinking we'll think he must be okay cause he's sitting 'with' Mr. & Mrs. Dean? I'm not Christian enough to even get around this guy. I can't be the only one here that knows Bob's history, can I? Sure I can. What if I didn't tell anyone and something happened? Oh, he'll probably only attend once or twice. He's not going to make MY church HIS church! Wait, I can't think that way...."
In the closing of church, our pastor asked us all to stand, join hands and make our "family circle." No problem. But when I finally got in position, Bob was standing directly across from me in his. "God," I said to myself, "just my luck he's standing across from me. OMG, he's holding Mrs. Pyle's hand. Bet that old woman would be upset if she knew whose hand she's holding!"
Church dismissed and I made a beeline to a longtime friend who is a deacon and asked him if he knew, "about Bob." He said he and a few others knew 'about Bob' and chose to believe his attendance was out of his need for God. "I hope so." I said. I was relieved. I also learned a lot about myself and judgment that day. I still have a long way to go to be a real Christian but thank God, He ain't through with me yet.
BTW...Bob hasn't been back to MY church since.