Day 2 at Regent

by Jonathan Awtrey

No one ever wakes up thinking, "I’m going to be arrested today." Well, at least I wouldn’t think so. I mean, when I woke up this morning, my first thought was, "Holy Crap. I’ve got 15 minutes to be on the bus!"

Once we were on our way to campus, I realized (or accepted the fact) that I needed to be one of the riders who attempted to dialogue with students. It was at that point that an eerie calm centered on me. I hadn’t felt that peaceful in quite some time.

Just before we walked on campus, several Regent students joined us and thanked us for attempting dialogue with them. Those same students asked forgiveness for any time Christians may have treated the gay community poorly. It was moving for many– a chance for a lot of the riders to see that not all Christians are "out to get us." For me, it was just reassurance that God does indeed love everyone, and that, in the end, all will work out for the best.

Once we crossed the road toward Regent, I realized in just moments that we would either be talking with students in an open dialogue, or I and several others would be arrested and sitting in the back of a car awaiting transport.

Walking on the campus was a surreal experience. Having seen both Haven and Jacob arrested, I knew what was coming. I saw the media running toward me and the police walking swiftly behind. Once the police reached me, the rest was a blur. I remember having one officer on my right side, one on my left and one holding my waist, while another was handcuffing me. I found this both ironic and humorous. Why would I need that much restraint? It’s not like I’m a big guy and could take anyone on, and I’m not going to take off running in a pair of Steve Maddens.

Sitting in the back of the van, an odd since of accomplishment settled on me as I realized that I had at least tried to make a difference. And at that point, sitting in the van, having seen the police turn students away from us and make them head back to campus, I realized everything was worth it– even the really poor picture I had to take with Officer Plink.