Thursday, August 9, 2012

Friendly Predator

Picture from:
Situation: Hugging some friends good-bye outside a coffee shop downtown then turning to walk to my car. Notice a guy is walking toward me. My street safety lessons kick through my mind. I make eye contact, little chin-nod what's up and then casual look to the side (not down.)

Guy: "Hey, are you familiar with downtown?"
Me: "Yeah." (turn around to him so my back is not toward him, make serious eye contact and look him over for a description. I see my friends in their car backing out but stopping when they see the guy talking to my sisters in Christ!)
Guy: "I work at the Starbucks. (motions north) I'm not trying to get money or anything. (shows me a $5 bill and then turns his jeans pockets inside out to show me he has no weapons) My wife has gone into labor and I need a ride to the hospital."
Me: (put both hands up in front of my waist like 'wait a minute' and shake my head) "No...there are some guys in the coffee shop, you should ask them."
Guy: (turns away and walks into the coffee shop)

I played through this situation over and over again in my mind before going to bed. I've studied out body language as a hobby for years and have taught myself certain verbal and physical responses that don't come naturally to most women - like not looking down, making mental notes of description, physically putting hands up to say no...etc. You see, in my pre-Christian days, I hung out with many friendly predators just like this so I know the routine...approach, answer all their reservations about helping you right off the bat, leave their mind swimming in words and a story to get a quick response, get what you need then go.

This is the one predator trick though that I had heard of but not been personally approached with in the past...a stranger asking for a ride. I'm sharing this story because I am a strong believer that women have not worked through in their minds enough times what their response would be and you have too. The point of the predator is to catch you off guard...his approach was aimed to not give me enough time to think: "Wait, you don't look like a Starbucks employee...there's not even one in the direction you pointed...why didn't you ask your coworkers for a ride? Why are you spending time trying to get a ride from people when you could jog in just 15 minutes and be there?"

Many Christian women have mixed emotions about not helping someone who says they are in need. Most predators are fairly harmless and just want some cash but this story is not about someone just asking for money...this grown man was trying to 'get me alone.'

So friends, I'm encouraging you to talk through with your friends & family about what you should do if you are approached by someone (man or woman) on the street asking for something. We know the bible says a wise man gets get advice and know your plan. As Christians, we should help but our help doesn't have to be in the form they are asking. Example, if someone wants money for food offer to buy them food, if they need gas offer to buy them gas, if a man asks for help suggest they approach another man, if a woman asks for help pull in other women or men walking around to also talk to the woman to see how everyone can best help, if you are dead set on helping - call friends to come join you before doing anything. Please don't get alone with them in anyway. Let us be wise.

Below are some scriptures. Maybe now is the time to spend and meditate on these verses both in context and how they generally apply. Has it been a while since you spoke to your children about strangers approaching them or your husband about what you should do? What about your household - have you talked through these situations? Today, I just want to encourage you to take that time and opportunity. God has urged me through prayer that I needed to share this so I hope it helps. :)

  • Matthew 10:16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."
  • 2 Timothy 3:1-7 "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth."
  • Proverbs 12:15 "The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice."
  • Proverbs 2:12 "Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse..."


  1. So funny that you write about this...Just today Thomas posted this on facebook: "Villains who twirl their moustaches are easy to spot. those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well camouflaged.... Vigilance, Mr. Worf, that is the price we must continually pay"
    He is so kind that he will always help people out, no matter what the situation and I found myself being more cautious. This kind of information is helpful to both of us though, thank you for sharing!

  2. - This video talks about empowering individuals to make effective personal safety choices and avoid danger by heightening their awareness and has some demonstration of the various ways victims are attacked as well as the strategies and psychology of assailants. Interview with one of the leading authorities in personal safety education George Manoli. I would sooo enjoy taking a class like this!