Reactions to Crime in Pretoria

What a day for crime spottings… First, on my way to a meeting, I came across this (two robbers chased down, shot by a handful of police officers.  I didn’t see the action, just the aftermath).

Next, during my meeting with the Pure Hope leadership team in the city, we witnessed a small riot break out with one man in particular getting beaten by the mob.  After things chilled, I asked someone on the street what happened, and they told me the guy had stolen a phone.  Seriously.  A mob over a phone.  I have some thoughts on this towards the end…

Then on my way to the car, I started getting hassled, with a guy trying to get in my pocket… all the while he had his hand in his pocket, I assume holding something unfriendly.  Anyway, I looked at him in the eyes and asked him his name and what he wanted.  Then he got all civil and asked me to buy him food.  I gave him the change I had in my back pocket (a measly R.05) and he made some joke about how “no one takes that little bit of change”.  I told him it was a start towards something though!  He laughed, took my small coin and left me alone.

I think we have choices how we respond to things.  Usually, this kind of stuff pops up on  you quickly.  Too quickly to really think about it.  You just react out of your gut or something.  To be honest, I don’t know why I cared about the guys’ name.  And even worse, I don’t even remember it.  I just wanted to get away from him.  Sitting and reflecting now, I actually wish I had spent some time with him after that.

I think the crowd in the riot is just tired.  Tired of petty crime.  I think the police are doing their best, and brought justice to that area of Pretoria today.  I think this young kid trying to rob me is hungry and doesn’t know a better way.  God is at work in the heart of Pretoria though.  The resurrection changed things, and it’s bringing peace and reconciliation to the world now.

Praying for real peace… real reconciliation throughout our city tonight.  May the resurrection become real in our hearts Pretoria.


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