To the Editor: Comments on Howard eviction

“Howard ordered to vacate property by May 31.” This is the headline that represents the end of a long battle between the city of Ridgecrest and the Howard family, an elderly couple now homeless in its wake. Not just a single parcel, but 12 properties were seized. The city spent $700,000 tax dollars to take all of it from them.

One of the Beatitudes states, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy,’ Matthew 5:7. Those who perpetuated this unmerciful overkill will eventually understand that, in this life it is wise to be sure the well of mercy isn’t empty when our own time of need arises. How profoundly inadequate will their windfall seem in that hour?

This series of events reminds me of an episode of “Criminal Minds.” Three teenage girls were thrown into a pit with a grate for air and through which their captor tossed a hammer. Two of the girls could be freed if they killed the third. One eventually killed another, and the two remaining were set free to bear that lifelong burden. In this analogy, the city is the captor, our tax dollars the hammer, the life taken was Dale Howard’s and we are the survivors. Victims ourselves, but unlike the girls in the story, we have a small window in which to offer this family mercy.

I have spoken to Mr. Howard and as you might imagine, the family is in a state of shock. I have his permission to stand in silent prayer at his home, 1109 Mayo, corner of Bataan. If anyone who would like to join in from 5:30-6 p.m. each night this month to pray for them and for our country—that this tyranny does not take root, please feel welcome.

Erin Higgins

Story First Published: 2017-05-19