The Bully

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.

Thought for the Day: The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control

Each day, he rolled his wheelchair up to the cafeteria table and his friend brought him his tray of lunch. Each day, a boy came up in the middle of lunchtime and took the dessert from his tray. My brother, Coble, was bullied in this small way but each day he was disturbed because someone was doing something to him and he couldn’t do anything about it. Without telling our family what was going on each day, he watched as the bully came up to his table, grabbed the dessert, and ate it. After a period of time, my brother had an idea. As the bully walked up to the table, Coble leaned over and spit into his dessert. At that point, the bully stopped, walked away, and never took his dessert again. I sometimes think of this story when I think about my brother that this boy in a wheelchair didn’t want to bother our parents, or me, so he thought of a way to take care of himself. Coble made a decision about this situation to remain quiet but to take care of the situation in a way that made a point to the bully, that the bully probably remembers even after these forty years. He remained calm, acted rationally, and took care of the bully in a civil and non-incidental way.

After all these years, I can visualize my brother spitting in his dessert and the look on the bully’s face, then I giggle. How proud I still am of him for doing as he did. He could have acted in anger causing a stir and bringing negative attention to himself. He could have acted in fear causing the bully to come back even stronger. And, he could have acted in a way that could have brought embarrassment to the boy. Instead, he acted in a way that showed his strength and courage in the way Jesus taught. (As I write this, I quickly note that this was bullying over forty years ago and that bullying today is a lot harsher and comes in terrible ways. My brother remained quiet, but today, I believe it is very important for children to talk to adults when they are being threatened and bullied.)

Prayer: Father God, thank you for teaching us about how to live in the way you would have us live. Be with us as we go through our day to life in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and self-control. Be with those who are affected negatively by an acquaintance and help them know what to do, and to know that no matter what that You love them. Amen.

Prayer Focus: Those being treated badly

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