I have lived in North Philly and now I live in south central LA. Two of the worst crime areas of the country. Ive walked these streets many many times before, not thinking or caring of the consequences. I have never taken any kind of percaution, never pre-empting the possibility of something ever going wrong… except the other night.
When I went out last Friday, as I was leaving in the daylight hours, I had this overwhelming feeling… as if God was telling me,
“Keyvan youre going to get mugged tonight, it will definately be TONIGHT when youre walking home, so heres what you have to do. Pull your socks up on the way back. Then put your cell phone in one sock, and your wallet in the other, but leave your money in your pockets so they dont suspect anything.”
The feeling was so strong. I cant even describe it. I just kept thinking about it, as if there was no way that it wouldnt happen. I then said, “God, Im going to take that percaution, and if I get mugged tonight, I'll know it was because you warned me.”
The feeling was just so overwhelming that it would happen.
I got back at about 2:30am, not unusual for me to walk these streets at that time, but this is the first time I took percaution. On the bus I had put my valuebles in my socks. I stepped off the bus, and I knew I wasnt going to reach my house before getting mugged. I started to look around for shady people.
At one point I saw these two Latin guys talking to each other, mid 30's, one was on a bike, and the other had this sort of white bowling ball bag or something. The one on the bike gestured to my direction, informing the other one I was there. The one on the bike took off. The chubby one with the bag looked at me really creepily as I passed him. We were only 2 feet apart at one point. He stared at me with a creepy looking face, and in a high pitched voice said softly, “Hiii… ”
I was kind of stunned, but I kept walking thinking… ok hes just retarded or something. But as I kept walking he kept saying, “Hiii… Hiii..” Yeah…scary. Espessially when its pitch black and no one else is around.
I looked back and he started to follow me!
I kept walking, faster.
I could still hear him. I turned the corner, I walked faster and faster and faster. I looked back he wasnt there. I thought maybe i lost him but i didnt decrease my speed, I just kept going. Then i turned around again, HE TURNED THE CORNER WITH ME!!!! and was coming after me.
OMG. my heart was pounding out of my chest…
“Hii…” that creepy chubby dude was coming for me. There was no one around, nothing to do. What was going to happen I had no idea. I just powerwalked further and further. My heart was racing, I couldnt breathe. I felt like I was about to pass out. This was like a nightmare. I turned around again… and he was gone. PHEW! Dodged that bullet, I thought. I kept walking… Then I turned around again, AND HE WAS THERE AGAIN. My heart was then pounding faster than ever before, I picked up speed, and I said to myself, “just keep going, and dont turn back till you get to the corner of your street” so i kept going and going and going, so fast. By the time I got to the corner, I turned back. He was gone. I looked on all sides, he was gone.
Turning the corner, I walked down my street. Walking in my direction, were these three young Hispanic thug guys… friendly bunch? Nope. They surrounded me. “Wha'chu got hommie, wha'chu got”… OMG. It was happening. All I could think was… God, it has happened. You warned me, and it happened. They cleaned out the money in my pockets, and took my keys from my backpocket. they frisked my legs a little to see if i was hiding anything but they missed my socks. They ran off… and it worked. My wallet and brand new cell phone were safe. I wasnt even as shocked of what just happened, I was just looking out, knowing… it actually happened. I was warned and protected. I didnt even really care that I just lost around 70 dollars.
Since they took my keys, I was locked out of my house, and I had to wait several hours for the landlord to come and get me a new pair of keys. With nothing else to do, I searched the sidewalks and bushes to see if they dumped my keys off somewhere. The keys of course were held together by a metal ring.
Now I thought the fact that I was warned was very spiritual. I didnt realise until today, that this was also pseudo-urban version of a story from THE SEVEN VALLEYS!
There was once a lover who had sighed for long years in separation from his beloved, and wasted in the fire of remoteness. From the rule of love, his heart was empty of patience, and his body weary of his spirit; he reckoned life without her as a mockery, and time consumed him away. How many a day he found no rest in longing for her; how many a night the pain of her kept him from sleep; his body was worn to a sigh, his heart's wound had turned him to a cry of sorrow. He had given a thousand lives for one taste of the cup of her presence, but it availed him not. The doctors knew no cure for him, and companions avoided his company; yea, physicians have no medicine for one sick of love, unless the favor of the beloved one deliver him.
At last, the tree of his longing yielded the fruit of despair, and the fire of his hope fell to ashes. Then one night he could live no more, and he went out of his house and made for the marketplace. On a sudden, a watchman followed 14 after him. He broke into a run, with the watchman following; then other watchmen came together, and barred every passage to the weary one. And the wretched one cried from his heart, and ran here and there, and moaned to himself: “Surely this watchman is Izra'il, my angel of death, following so fast upon me; or he is a tyrant of men, seeking to harm me.” His feet carried him on, the one bleeding with the arrow of love, and his heart lamented. Then he came to a garden wall, and with untold pain he scaled it, for it proved very high; and forgetting his life, he threw himself down to the garden.
And there he beheld his beloved with a lamp in her hand, searching for a ring she had lost. When the heart-surrendered lover looked on his ravishing love, he drew a great breath and raised up his hands in prayer, crying: “O God! Give Thou glory to the watchman, and riches and long life. For the watchman was Gabriel, guiding this poor one; or he was Israfil, bringing life to this wretched one!”
Indeed, his words were true, for he had found many a secret justice in this seeming tyranny of the watchman, and seen how many a mercy lay hid behind the veil. Out of wrath, the guard had led him who was athirst in love's desert to the sea of his loved one, and 15 lit up the dark night of absence with the light of reunion. He had driven one who was afar, into the garden of nearness, had guided an ailing soul to the heart's physician.
Now if the lover could have looked ahead, he would have blessed the watchman at the start, and prayed on his behalf, and he would have seen that tyranny as justice; but since the end was veiled to him, he moaned and made his plaint in the beginning. Yet those who journey in the garden land of knowledge, because they see the end in the beginning, see peace in war and friendliness in anger. (Baha'u'llah, The Seven Valleys, p. 11)
If I had not been followed by that guy, I would not have walked anywhere nearly as fast. Those guys who mugged me would have been long gone before I reached the street, no doubt about that, and I knew for a fact the rest of the street was quiet and barron for hours later.
That creepy guy brought me to what I was looking for, and with that what I knew if happened was what God told me would happen. After being mugged I felt so spiritual, and its thanks to that creepy guy who led me into that street at that time. ALSO, what did I then find myself doing afterwards… looking for my ring of keys…
I posted this story on a web forum, and a Bahai I know in Ohio wrote this response:
“Praise be to God!
Keyvan, around 5:30 in the morning the other day, I was inspired to write by God. And I wrote a poem that was inspired by the Seven Vallyes and Four Vallyes, called “The Seven Street Lights and the Four Broken Car Windows”.
It was about a man walking around in a bad neighborhood, and a guy saw him and chased after him, trying to mug him.
I live in Ohio, which would make it around 2:30 in the morning your time… Creepy… ”
This was intense!