It took eight minutes to walk from the apartment building to the library. That is, it only took eight minutes for everyone but David. It wasn’t that David dawdled; he was waylaid. He had a hard time getting past the group of bigger boys who thought the bench outside the old Fotomat store was their personal perch.
David was different. His loose, curly red hair spouted from his scalp and down over his forehead like jungle vines. He was five sizes smaller than everyone else in his class and light as a feather. Oh, it was a proven fact. Just last week Gavin McGowen had bench pressed him in gym class in front of everyone … even the girls. The other boys didn’t understand the kid who was either singing or reading, and they did everything possible to make his simple existence difficult.
He stopped outside the apartment and waited on the stoop. Thoughtfully he plotted his pathway to the library, then noticed that the boys were preoccupied wagering on a few pigeons fighting over a piece of hamburger bun in the street. David slung his heavy denim book bag over his right shoulder and headed for the street corner. “I can make it today if I’m careful,” he convinced himself.
As David reached the final step to the sidewalk, his book bag snagged on the wrought-iron handrail. The loud rip caught his attention, while his books thudding to the ground caught the attention of the other boys. He was dead meat. He could leave his books on the street and go inside or he could snatch them up and run for the library. He had only a moment to decide his afternoon fate.
Mister Blandy was sweeping the walk outside his building. He laid his broom against the “no parking” sign and stepped into the street. His wide shoulders blocked the sun from reaching David’s books, his big brown hands opening David’s torn book bag. David slid the books into what remained of the bag. “Here son, let’s take a walk down to the library. I need some new reading.”
Gavin McGowen and his crew sat back down on the bench and looked the other way.
The Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands (1 Samuel 17:47).
Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-11).