By Jacob Bembry
God has been with me so many times that I cannot begin to tell you. He has even been there during the stupid times and the stupid things I have done.
I’m not sure if it was stupid what I did that night in 1986 but I’m not sure it was the wisest decision I had ever made. All I know is that God took care of me that night. If He had not done it, I would at least have been left with a black eye, a broken nose and a handful of teeth for the tooth fairy to come pick up and leave me a quarter a piece for.
I was a student at Florida State University at the time and lived in a dorm called Smith Hall. On several of the floors was a TV room. One evening, while I was coming back from dinner or maybe the library (yeah, let’s say it was the library anyway), I saw an encounter. Now, let me preface this by saying that I have been taught to be chivalrous. Even though the encounter was the girl’s fault, I felt I had to stand up for her.
There was a group of 10 or 11 fellows who were watching a show on television when a blue-haired girl (yes, she had blue hair; it was the 80s and many college students were into punk and new wave) went in and decided to turn the channel. As you can probably guess, tempers flared. Not only did the guys get mad, they threatened this girl who I didn’t even really know but I believe whose name was Lisa.
The major threat came from a guy who was a walk-on football player at FSU. He said that he was going to kill her. I heard enough and ran and got in between the two of them.
“No, you’re not,” I said.
Shoving me, he said, “Get out of the way or I’ll kill you too.”
Somehow I kept my voice from shaking, “You may do that but you won’t touch her.” The football player was much shorter than me but he was built like a Sherman tank. He was a running back and you could tell this guy spent hours in the gym.
Somewhere in the middle of my confrontation with the guy, who had the support of 10 other guys in the room, Lisa ran out. “Whew! Maybe she’s gone from help,” I thought. Of course, I didn’t see her until weeks later.
The football player pushed me again. I didn’t move. Again and I didn’t move. Again and my glasses flew across the room but I didn’t move. No matter how many times he shoved, I stood my ground. Finally, he said. “Aw. Forget it.” One of his buddies handed me my glasses and I went to my dorm room with relief washing over me.
The next time I saw Lisa, she was with a girl with half of her blonde hair shaved off. She grabbed me and hugged me and said I was her knight in shining armor. I am sorry to say that since she did not go get help, I was thinking some things about her that were not in line with my Christian character.
The next time I saw the football player was when he showed up to borrow money that my roommate had left with me. I’d had warning that he was coming but I guess that he didn’t expect to see me there. He couldn’t have been a nicer guy that day.