Pray For Better Parenting

| USA | Friendly | August 19, 2016

(I am, unfortunately, heading into work to finish up some urgent tasks on the weekend. There’s also a large religious event happening a few blocks away. At this point, I’m walking down the sidewalk about a block from work, with my headphones in.)

Me: *suddenly feels a tap on my mid-back, and turns to see a boy, about nine-years-old, tapping me* “Oh, my god, are you lost?”

Boy: “No, but you might be.”

Me: “I’m sorry; I don’t know what you mean. Do you know where your parents are? Do you need me to help you find them?”

Boy: “You said a bad thing when I tapped you. You should pray for forgiveness. I can help you.”

Me: *dawning on me that he’s with the religious event* “Oh… oh-kay. Um… do you know where your parents are? I can take you to the security desk at my office and they can call the police to help you get back to your parents.”

Boy: “I’m here to help you. Won’t you pray with me?”

Me: “You know what? I’m just going to call the police right here and they can help you find your parents. Stay here; I’m sure they’ll respond shortly.”

(As soon as I dial the phone, a large family swoops in on me and says he’s their son, he was just trying to “help” me, and insinuates that I was very rude for turning down his offer to pray with me.)

Me: “You know what? I’m just trying to get to work. I thought he was lost! What little kid approaches an adult stranger alone?! I’m not totally sold that you’re his family. I’m still going to call the police, and you can deal with them.”

(The police respond quickly, ask me what happened, tell me I can go, and then turn to address the family. Last thing I hear:)

Police: “Do you realize how stupid that is? Even if people are more likely to pray with a child, you’re setting him up to be abducted! Do you have any other children wandering around in the area approaching strangers?”

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