Get Out or We Will Shoot!

by | May 25, 2003 | Example, God's Hands, Love, Protection

Mat 7:2 “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” NIV

Rom 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” NIV

It was a beautiful, sunny day, and when we crossed the border between France and Switzerland, I couldn’t help but think: “Welcome to Geneva! What a beautiful city we were fortunate enough to leave near!” We were on our way to the British embassy in Geneva, where my three Mauritian friends, fellow students from a Bible Seminary we attended in France, hoped to obtain British visas. In order to complete some of our course work, we were required to spend our spring vacation at a Bible seminary in Great Britain. Being born in Belgium, I didn’t need a visa; but not being from Europe, they did, and when they approached me and asked for a ride to the embassy, I readily agreed. After all, any excuse to get away from campus was always a welcome one!

We were barely 5 minutes from the border, however, when the beautiful sunshine seemed to dim a little. Out of nowhere, a dozen police cars appeared, and before I could even wonder what they were up to, they had surrounded my car. Then they gradually slowed down until they came to a complete stop, and being right in the middle of this mass of police cars, I had no choice but to stop with them. You can imagine my surprise when two dozen police officers jumped out of their vehicles, handguns cocked and aimed-directly at us! Had I forgotten to pay a parking ticket???

“Get out of your car or we will shoot,” shouted an officer through his megaphone.

The four of us were more than happy to comply. Or, better put, we were too terrified NOT to! And we got out of the car with our arms held up high over our heads! We wanted to give them ABSOLUTELY NO reason to shoot!

By now I was sure that there hadn’t been any run-ins with the police that I had forgotten, and I began to wonder which of my traveling companions was a hidden criminal. Little did I know that THEY were all wondering if I was driving a stolen car!

The moment our feet hit the pavement, we were each accosted by two officers of the law and were quickly frisked. To our relief, one of them shouted: “They’re clean!” Whatever THAT meant. Apparently they weren’t satisfied that we were “clean”, however, for they then searched the car from top to bottom!

“It’s clean as well!” Shouted another, clearly surprised.

Naturally I was delighted to hear my car was clean, although it looked pretty dirty to me . . .

“You can lower your hands!” Came the welcome order, and with that, all of the guns, along with most of the police officers, disappeared into the cars, and eleven of the twelve cruisers roared off. The two remaining officers approached us: “Where were you half an hour ago?” One of them demanded.

I took a courageous stand and responded: “We were just leaving the seminary we attend in France.” (Would it have been more courageous not to respond?)

He then apologized and shared with us that we fitted the description of four bank robbers who had just robbed a bank in Geneva. One was white, and the other three were dark-skinned. When they saw us, they were sure they had found the culprits. Then without waiting for a response, they sprinted back to their car and took off, and we were left staring at each other, wondering if it had all been nothing but a bad dream!

It is then that we noticed several bystanders staring at us. From the expression in their faces it seemed clear that they considered us to be criminals. If this had all been just a bad dream, then we were still dreaming ! You can believe that we were pretty happy to drive away!

Life is full of unexpected events. The most unexpected and surprising one is how people treat each other. It is so easy to judge and be misjudged. Two people get divorced and immediately bystanders begin to point fingers of blame, when they have no clue about the actual facts. We are so quick to draw our guns of judgment and shoot people, but we aren’t too pleased when others do the same!

The solution? It’s simple. Fulfill Jesus’ request: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15: 12 NIV)

How can we do this? By striving to be more and more like Jesus. He is the only one who can change our hearts. He is the one who can transform our bitter lives.

“Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” (1 John 2: 6) “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor 3:8 NIV)

Why wait? Invite Him into your heart and ask His help to overcome your weakness. You will be amazed how He comes through for you.

By the way, when we finally arrived at the British Embassy, they were closed for the day! Can you blame us if we didn’t find the prospect of returning the next day very appealing?

“Get out or we will shoot!”

What will your reaction be?

Rob Chaffart


Get Out or We Will Shoot!