Quiet, Peaceful, Still

Quiet, peaceful, still

Town Square, 1971,

he swaggered out of

the theatre, a twenty-six

year old, husband, dad,

university chaplain, preacher

of peace during Viet Nam,

reached into his pocket,

pulled out his hand with

index finger and thumb

cocked, pointed here

there and everywhere:

Blam, blam, blam,

“Do you feel lucky, punk?”

uttered years before he

had a “Go ahead,

make my day” kind

of a day

after watching Dirty

Harry

stare down

the bad guy.

The preacher of peace’s

adrenalin was pumpin’

flowin’. He, too, was

ready to pop the bad

guys just like a few

years before, he was

Steve McQueen in

Bullitt putting his

shoulder holster over

the arm of the chair and

looking at it in a pregnant

pause as if to ask if this

is the right way, the way

he made after the unbelievable

car chase that set the standard

for all car chases to come.

Was it Bullitt’s stare at his

gun that gave him pause,

or simply the still, small

voice that won out

and kept him from ever

owning a gun? And

forty-one years later

he remembers just

how he felt that evening

and he thanks God

that he never bought

that gun.

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