Defusing a Violent Situation

by Ron Hansen

I was camping in a small tent by myself. One night a couple was drinking and arguing in a tent nearby. After a while, the argument became violent. There were other tents in the area but no one did anything about it. I finally decided I had to go over and break it up. When I approached the tent and started talking to them, the man who was a big muscular man in his 20's came out and told me to leave or he would beat the shit out of me. He turned his wrath away from the woman and focused it on me. I have never felt threatened like that in my life before. I just stood my ground while being at peace and did not return the hate or fear to him. I just looked for the presence of the Holy Spirit in him. Eventually, people started coming out of there tents to watch what was going on. After some time just standing my ground, he calmed down. The woman then came out of the tent. They were both bruised and scratched. He said she started hitting him first. Some women took the woman away to calm her down. The man went back in his tent, still mad. I went back to my tent.

About an hour later when everyone had gone back to sleep, I saw the man approaching my tent with an ax in his hand. I greeted him with a warm hello and invited him in my tent. He had a bottle to tequila with him. He put the ax down and came in and he offered me some of the tequila out of the bottle. I took some and we started talking. He was upset because whenever they had a fight like this someone would console his girlfriend, but no one talked to him. We sat and talked and drank tequila until he threw up on my sleeping bag. At that point he took off to his tent.

When he didn't come back, I went out and returned the ax to the side of his tent. The next morning he didn't even remember that he had been in my tent.

I am sure if I hadn't used the Course's way of being with that man, and shown fear or threatened him, he probably would have attacked me either at first, or when he came over with the ax later. Even though he was so drunk when he came over, I'm sure somewhere deep inside our friendly conversation in my tent made a difference in his life.

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