It was getting chilly at the soccer game and I wanted my jacket. I hustled over to my car to quickly grab it out of the trunk, when I heard the quivering sound of fear. Over my shoulder I caught the image of a young boy about 8 years of age backing away slowly from another boy about his same age.
“Leave me alone. Don’t do that anymore. Go away.” The words shuddered like the ripples on a washboard, as they escaped from his mouth.
“I’m going to get you,” the other boy taunted, as he ran towards the first boy. They both disappeared around a car.
There are some things in life that once you’ve felt them yourself, there is no lag time in feeling them again. Movie clips of my being teased as a young girl began rolling in my mind. The deep sense of fear and helplessness came rushing through my veins. I was motivated and moved by these miserable memories.
I abandoned my mission to get a coat and walked briskly to the parking space where they had disappeared. I still heard the voice of the taunter pursuing his prey.
Just as I reached the space between the two cars, the boy bully – to his surprise -- backed right in to me. Startled, he looked up. I got down at his level -- eye level.
“Are you being unkind?” I said, gently but firmly.
“Yes,” he now shuttered.
“Do you like it when people are unkind to you?”
“No,” he said as his other little friends, wondering what was happening, appeared on the scene.
“I didn’t think so,” I nodded. “I don’t know who any of you are, but I suggest you leave this boy alone. Practice being kind to each other. Is that clear?”
The boy nodded rapidly, frozen in his steps. I walked back to my car, and back to the game. Ended up, I didn’t really need the jacket. I wonder if God had me there for a reason. I’ll never know if it made a difference, but I hope it stirred conviction in one boy and strength in the other.
There are a number of things in life that I abhor -- bullying is one of them. It definitely makes my “top ten list of despicable things people can do.” It brings about this intense sense of justice and compassion in me. My blood begins to stir when I hear others being put down, stepped on, preyed upon, or doused with fear.
I think about the verse from Micah 6:8 (NET), “He has told you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord really wants from you: He wants you to promote justice, to be faithful, and to live obediently before your God.” Sometimes, it’s hard to stand up for what is right. We question whether we are even making a difference, or our own fears and insecurities get in the way. There are times in my life when people stood up for me. There are times when I wish someone had.
Promote justice, in the little and big things in life. Be faithful. Live obediently to the Lord, the lover of your soul, the lover of every soul. Defend the bullied, protect the abused, help strengthen the downtrodden and encourage the down cast. Show them the love of Christ, even a small way. Be aware of where God is placing you and what He may be calling out to do. Stand up and speak out. It may mean a world of a difference to one – or to the world. You just never know.