For a little over two weeks, our city was rocking with an ongoing party that is celebrated every spring in commemoration of the battles of San Jacinto and the Alamo. We affectionately call it “Fiesta” or party. It always occurs in April… and it is always full of day and night parades, kid activities, delicious foods, dancing, loud blaring live music all over downtown, honking everywhere as people are stuck in what seems like eternal traffic jams, and epic drinking that occurs downtown at night.
This weekend my love and I let our son spend the night with his Nanny (aka Grandma) so that we could go to the night parade – one of the last Fiesta events this year. We’d never been to any of the festivities at night, and although we’d heard how drunk the city gets, we completely underestimated the massive amount of drunk people we would encounter. This event alone was said to have brought out hundreds of thousands of people into our downtown area – 600,000 in 2011. To say it was nauseatingly packed is an understatement. But it was also fun, and full of excitement!
We watched some of the parade with it’s beautiful festive floats and costumed Royalty, and then decided to make our escape to the Riverwalk underneath the street level. It was peaceful and romantic there, with only a few families and lovers seeking solace from the crowded streets above. We relaxed at a bench along the quiet, dark river, and watched a wedding reception across the way.
On our way back, we passed a view of our city from across a bridge over looking the river and some towers lit up in fiesta colors reflecting in it – the view made for a beautiful picture so we decided to stop. A man started approaching on our right, and I told my husband it needed to be a fast picture…. He came right up to us and said something we both couldn’t understand. My husband, being Batman, immediately was aware enough to know this could’ve been a set-up… strange man comes out, obviously drunk, mutters something intelligible, gets us off guard, and then his comrades come out to rob us.
Aware he would pull me away if it was truly dangerous, we talked to this man for awhile. He asked us if we believed in an alternative. Alternative what? An alternative faith… like in something else – anything else… other than God. He was young, probably 30’s, and dressed well… I was reminded that everyone seems to get drunk at Fiesta. All shapes and sizes. He was educated, and talked about population problems he learned at our University, all the poverty in the world, and how there was just no way there could be a solution to solving anything. He constantly asked us questions about what we believed concerning God, sin, and problems in the world, particularly the over-population problem he learned about at University.
I majored in the science field, and I worked with colleagues that also believed in the over-population problems. I talked with him about how I knew that the people behind the teachings were usually Atheist, and the solutions they posed were inhumane. I told him some of their solutions: mass abortions, mass killing of the elderly that were too sick to care for, or who elected to be killed, or communist control of how many children certain population areas can have (like China), which of course, would be controlled by forced abortions. You could even go the Hitler direction and commit genocide of a group that is becoming in your eyes, too populous.
He was disgusted by these suggestions, but I pointed out that there really are no other solutions other than these, which is what those who back this teaching want. They are the same group publishing articles in Europe about the ethicalness of after-birth abortions – also known as infanticide, prior to them coining this “after-birth” term.
He asked my husband various questions about his walk with God – and why it all made any difference. My husband let him know parts of his testimony, and I could tell the man was struggling with understanding. The man then asked us probably the hardest question we’ve ever faced, would we give everything away – everything we owned – if God required that of us? My husband answered quickly, yes, all that he had was because of God – nothing belonged to him. I was honest and said yes, but that it would be extremely hard. We talked some more about God and Him being there for us through some of the hardest times, emotionally and financially. Who knew that we would be witnessing there on the street to this man? He had been sooo depressed and numb when we had started talking to him, but we left him warm and smiling with him apologizing for being drunk and taking some of our time. We exchanged warm hand shakes and I think just the fact that someone had listened to him – had cared enough to hear him out on his concerns – helped him in a small way.
We never got the picture. But we got to touch someone else’s life with our love.
On this Holocaust Rememberance Day, when so many fellow Jews, elderly, diseased, and mentally retarded were so carelessly and intentionally murdered, under the guise for The Greater Good, I can’t help but connect it to what we heard last night. Without faith, life is very depressing. Faith is the unwavering assurance and belief in what we hope for, in things that we haven’t yet seen. When you lose faith and hope, life becomes over-whelming… purpose doesn’t seem to exist… human life loses it’s dignity and becomes disposable.