Dragon Fight

I taught eighth grade for a little while.  Many in the class were huge 13-year-old farm boys with more testosterone and big muscles than they knew what to do with.   Frequently there were playground fights.  Or hallway fights.   You get to recognize the signs that a fight is brewing by listening to the way they talk to each other.    Insults.    Irritation.   Put-downs.    Bullying.   Soon as you recognize any of that it’s about too late.

So I took to sitting on my desk as the class came in after lunchtime, available for talking and listening.   They were usually growly, drowsy, and eager for some diversion (i.e., trouble).  Whatever they ate slowed them down enough to be able  to listen, sort of, and sometimes they talked:  complaints,  problems. . .  trouble.

The one thing that seemed to make sense to them was when we got to the point where I defended the underdog and I’d say, not in these words,  but in meaning:  “Don’t pick on him – (don’t add to his problems) –  you never know what dragons he’s fighting all by himself.”

These boys understood that.  At home they were often yelled at, sworn at, smacked around, dissed;  things were unfair and life was hard.   Common to them all were injuries, sickness, heartaches, shame,  loss, and grief.

(A turning point came after one day’s fight and they found out that the wimp they  picking on had “wimped out”  that day because the night before his father had been arrested for something.    Shame and shock.     I didn’t report the fight.  I didn’t even ask for confessions, exactly.   But between the bloody nose and the dragon talk,  I really perceived a change in attitude from the class — and the “wimp”  walked home with new friends that day.)

It was the first time many of them realized that other people could be hurting too, and the “dragons”  that were attacking  made a kid look weak and vulnerable – ripe for picking on.    Easy targets.

But life can throw huge dragons at everyone – even the big bullies – and they knew it.

Love Prayer Need

To make life better takes hard work – and that’s what I was getting at in my last posting about the victims of the Oklahoma tornadoes.   Normal people want to  “do something” to show their caring and compassion, their love.

I had written that even prayer was a kind of work of compassion, and not too easy at that.  That’s why I was glad to see that photo above on the Drudge Report a couple days ago, and others like it.   The victims are asking for prayer too, because they know they need a little more than money and material goods.

They need. . . they have needs. . . they have their dragons. . . .we’re all vulnerable to the hardships of this life.

Love Thy

Our Creator knows that, and that’s why one of the first rules of his “manual for the human race”  is Love Thy Neighbor.    Love him and help him fight his dragons.     Prayer is effective against dragons.   It’s our “work.”

Or do you think you’re a tougher eighth-grader than anyone else!!!?

Explore posts in the same categories: Current Events, Education, Serve God

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