The interest on unpaid debts

Father David Epps's picture

My oldest son called the other day with a prayer request. He was, it turns out, about to be “Tazered.”

Jason is a lieutenant with the Peachtree City Police Department, and some officers are going to be equipped with Tazers.

Tazers, according to, “fire a 50,000-volt electronic non-lethal defensive stun gun force from a safe distance up to 15 feet away with 50,000 volts of stopping power with the highest effectiveness and laser sight accuracy.”

The Tazer, it is claimed, has greater stopping power than a .357 magnum. Officers who wish to carry a Tazer must be certified to do so, and certification means, in addition to the training required, that one personally gets “Tazered.”

The devices are a powerful alternative to lethal force. If “pepper spray” won’t stop an assailant, the Tazer probably will — and with no messy bullet hole, blood, and extra paper work. Still, 50,000 volts is a lot of volts.

Jason went on to share that he was going to be the first to experience the full force of the Tazer and he was justifiably concerned. One in 10 people who experience the Tazer “soil themselves.” Ever prepared, my son took a box of “Depends” to the training.

The prayer request was two-fold: (1) He didn’t want to make use of the Depends, and (2) he didn’t want to squeal like Hannah Montana.

Apparently, soiling oneself and squealing like Hannah Montana are two things not recommended to do in front of fellow officers. The local media was also expected to be present for the event.

Later, I called him to learn the results. “Oh, my gosh, Dad,” he said, “I have never experienced pain that intense!”

I should add here that Jason had to have four operations on his shoulder after being injured making an arrest, and that he was once shot in the wrist by a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol. He is a former college football player and a black belt in karate.

If he, who is no stranger to pain, said the pain was that unbearable, I never want to be Tazered. The good news, he said, is that the Depends were not needed and that he screamed “like Bruce Willis and not like Hannah Montana.”

I wondered, however, if all this pain and humiliation was not the repayment of an old debt.

Back in early 1981, we lived in western Colorado, and Cindy was in Grand Junction’s St. Mary’s Hospital having our third child, James.

Jason, age almost 9, and John, age 6, were staying on a small ranch with friends. While they were playing outside, Jason encouraged John to “tinkle” on a fence.

The fence turned out to be an electric fence designed to keep cattle within the pasture. The electrical charge instantly traveled up the stream of water and, well — it was a shocking experience for the 6-year-old.

So this week, after 28 years, the older brother was hit by 50,000 volts and was left screaming (like Bruce Willis, not Hannah Montana) and writhing on the floor, in intense pain, in front of the members of his department and members of the media.

Some would call that “karma.” Other would call it “sowing and reaping.”

John would call that “sweet.” I would just suggest that the interest on unpaid debts can be extremely high.

[Father David Epps is the founding pastor of Christ the King Church, 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA 30277, between Peachtree City and Newnan, and is a bishop currently serving Georgia and Tennessee. Services are held Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m. Bishop Epps is also the mission pastor of Christ the King Church in Champaign, IL. He may be contacted at]

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