Hit by a Rock

November 22, 2006

As I’ve mentioned, my church in Guadalupe is in a very economically depressed neighborhood. Drugs and gangs are serious problems there, along with signicant rates of underemployment. Despite these factors, I have always felt safe and welcome there.

Today, my wife and I along with two women from a local company, one of whom is a member of my wife’s church, went to a parishioner’s home in Guadalupe to deliver a Thanksgiving gift box. Every year, about a dozen people from this company give a Thanksgiving gift including plates and utensils and pretty things for the kitchen and a gift card to the grocery store to a needy family. This year, I helped match them with a family in my church who could use the help, so we went out together to drop off the items.

After we delivered everything, we walked back out to the street and stood around our two cars talking for a few minutes–one white man (me) and three white women standing on a street talking in a primarily Hispanic and Native American neighborhood. I’ve worked in Guadalupe for two and a half years now and, as I said, have felt safe the entire time, though, admittedly, I spend very little time away from the church. So, on this day, in broad daylight, I felt absolutely no sense of fear or that we didn’t belong there. But, when Alex and I got in the car to pull away from the curb, someone threw a rock hard into the passenger-side window. It sounded like a gunshot inside the car, and the window shattered. The shaded window film kept the glass from actually falling apart, but the window is ruined.


Our insurance has a 0-deductible policy for glass, so we’re not actually out any money, but I am upset. I’m angry and disappointed that such a stereotypical thing happened to us in Guadalupe, the sort of thing that perpetuates white people’s fear of brown people, rich people’s fear of poor. I refuse to be afraid, and I refuse to let one incident in two and a half years overly color my whole experience, but it’s hard not to read something into such an action. I’m assuming that one of two things explains the window: 1) some stupid teenage boy did it because his brain is addled by testosterone; or 2) we had inadvertently parked on some sort of drug turf, and this was our message not to park there any more. I’m guesing this second explanation is probably the correct one.

I’m not the white savior of the neighborhood or anything, and I don’t feel like they owe it to me to keep me safe and not let this sort of crap happen. But I’m mad anyway. Mad for the basic fact of a broken window, and mad for the whole stupid situation of crime and drugs and acts of bravura.

5 Responses to “Hit by a Rock”

  1. Evonne Says:

    Sure glad you guys didn’t get hurt. Hang in there, God has a purpose for everything.

  2. Lorna Says:

    angry is ok. It’s how we channel it.

    Praying for God’s light to come to the whole neighbourhood!

  3. sheepdays Says:

    Thanks for your comments. I’ve pretty much calmed down now, and the window is already fixed. Thanks for your prayers, too, for Guadalupe. It is an amazing and special place with real problems.

  4. sonofbruce Says:

    Thanks for doing this work, and for refusing to see yourself as anything special for doing it.

  5. Grant Says:

    Although stupidity and ignorance is not a crime, public assualt is. As long as everybody is okay is the main thing and a thoughtful prayer for these misled sheep.

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