"Mom, there's been a slight problem and the police want to talk with you."
I knew this day would come. Other parents of teenagers had prepared me well with their stories over the years. When my sixteen year-old daughter, Dania, called me Tuesday afternoon, thankfully I was nearby at the time.
The slight problem was a minor golf cart accident. Her friend, we'll just call him Tony, was driving our golf cart and crashed into someone's mailbox.
I arrived on the scene to find a police truck with its lights flashing and blocking most of the road. Two large officers with hands on their hips were lecturing their captive audience. In the middle, were two weeping, red-faced teenage girls (Dania was one of them) and their two freaked out guy friends.
Off to the side in the driveway, was the man who owned the mailbox. He was a shirtless big guy with a long beard and a chest tattoo similar to the one below except without the patriotic message...
His tattoo, scrawled in very large bold letters simply said:
I bopped over to where everyone was standing and got in the middle of the circle of love.
To spare you an extra long story, I'll limit my experience to one word. Anger. There were two angry cops and four angry teenagers. The irony was that the guy with the giant tattoo wasn't angry. He was upset with the police for pulling him out of his house after the kids had already apologized and offered to pay for the mailbox.
Fortunately I'd prayed on the short drive over and quickly diffused the situation; I sent the cops on their way and soothed the kids. And no one got a ticket. This was amazing because my daughter was absolutely furious. The police had accused them of lying about having spoken to the homeowner and she was filled with a sense of injustice.
I was thankful she had the self-control to keep her mouth shut and not display her wrath to the officers. I was able to teach the kids the appropriate responses in an emergency situation, and remind them that while their pride was hurt, they were not.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1