The Expository Files




Witnessing Intoxication


In 1957 my father decided it was time for me to witness intoxication. He wanted his ten year old son to see and smell drunkenness. My mother was not entirely convinced. My grandmother was opposed to it. Against these protests my father carried out his plan. He consulted with his best friend, who was the father of my best friend. They were agreed.

One of the elders in the church was the Chief of Police in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. A time was set on a Saturday morning. My father and best friend’s father took us to the jail house.

First, we went into Bro. Brock’s office. He showed us various pictures on the wall of local police history. He unloaded his revolver and let us hold it. We played with the handcuffs and thought all of this was a lot of fun.

Then he took us to see the jail. As we entered the outer jail area, bro. Brock was approached by the jailer who said, “wait a minute, Chief, and I’ll go clean the place up.” Bro. Brock said, “No. I don’t want anything cleaned up.”

He took us to see a row of cells called, “Drunk Tanks.” The first thing to hit us was the odor. The men in these holding cells looked awful. They were soiled, some of them passed out, exposed, coughing, speaking unknown words. We were shocked. We gagged. We looked at bro. Brock and our fathers. They didn’t say anything. The scene conveyed the message. Lesson learned.

See Prov. 23:29-35

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By Warren E. Berkley

The Final Page
From Expository Files 23.8;  August 2016