Several years ago, when our children were still quite young, my car was attacked by a gang of drunken thugs.
I was stuck in stationary traffic with no way of driving away from the incident.
As my third daughter screamed in the back of the car our assailants (more than ten of them) began to kick and rock our vehicle before opening the drivers door and attacking me.
Fearing for our safety, and with what appeared to be very few options, I managed to fall out of my seat and looked for an opportunity of defence.
I hit the one nearest to me and managed to get to my feet. I had no chance of winning against so many guys.
As I continued to fight, with the sound of my daughter still ringing in my ears, several other drivers came to our rescue.
By this time however a rage had come over me and I continued to hit one of our attackers; eventually having to be restrained by my rescuers.
On telling this story to family and friends on my return home I was unequivocally congratulated for having stood up in defence of my daughter.
However, I knew the truth of how I had somehow crossed a line from being the defender to the aggressor. This line was somewhat feint to the external observer but I knew of it's presence so very clearly on that day.
I began to see that evil did not just exist in my attackers but in my heart also, as my fear turned to the most intense rage. I wanted to hurt someone and I wanted to hurt them so badly that other people had to restrain me.
This is our problem when it comes to defending our freedom and our families we can so very easily cross a line; rather than revealing a noble sense of honour it shows the grim truth that evil is not just in another place or another heart.
Times like this are moments for reflection rather than celebration.
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