Owen needed courage, because the gang he used to run with would be there waiting.
Tossing another stone into the pond, Owen wondered how he could possibly face going to school the next day. School itself was no problem, but he knew the six-block walk to get there was going to be more than he could handle by himself.
“Hey Kid, what’s the problem?”
Owen jumped with surprise. “Cyrus, where’d you come from?”
“Oh, I just happened to spot you on the way home from my trumpet lesson. What are you doing here alone in the park?”
Owen stared out over the pond and sighed as he picked up a small stone. He looked at his older brother, “I guess I’m trying to find the right stone to slay a giant with.”
“Oh, right . . . there are a lot of them around today. Be sure you find plenty of stones.”
“Come on, Cyrus, I’m serious.”
“I guess you really are. Well, let’s go home and you can tell me about it on the way, okay?”
The low autumn sun glinted off the glass windows of the skyscrapers as the two brothers headed out of the park’s little patch of green into the often cold and unfriendly big city where they lived. At least they could look forward to the warm, comforting atmosphere of their home in a large apartment building in the middle of the city. Home hadn’t always been comfortable. No one had seemed to be able to get along and life had been one continual argument. But their parents had started attending church, and in time, both were saved. Then what had been a very unhappy home suddenly became something altogether different. Not long afterward, Owen and Cyrus were saved also. Truly, their home was now a happy one, but Owen was discovering that the world outside was just as evil as ever, if not worse.
As they rode the elevator up to their apartment, both brothers were looking a bit glum after discussing Owen’s problem.
“I know I can’t run from the situation, Cyrus, but I have to admit I’m afraid.”
“I don’t blame you. I’d go with you like I said, but I understand why you think you’ve got to go alone. You’d better talk to Dad when he gets home and then really pray about it tonight.”
After dinner that evening, Owen joined his father in the living room. “Dad, you remember that street gang I was in before I got saved?”
“Do you really think I’d ever be able to forget it, Owen? Remember, I was the one who found you lying in a pool of blood with a knife wound in your stomach.”
“I guess I had pretty well put those months with the gang out of my mind . . . until recently.”
“What do you mean, ‘until recently’? Are you having problems with the gang?”
Owen looked out the living room window at the lights of the city. “The gang has a saying, ‘It ain’t easy to get into the Southside Crew and it’s impossible to get out.’ I kind of hoped I’d be the exception to the rule. Since the Lord saved me, none of them have said much to me at all, which is a miracle. But today was different.”
Owen’s father was now very concerned as his son continued.
“They’re all planning to meet me on the way to school tomorrow. If I don’t show up in my Southside Crew jacket and plan to go with them to meet the 33rd Street Gang tomorrow night . . . well, there’s going to be trouble.”
“I had a feeling, Owen, you’d be facing something like this eventually. I know that even if the whole city police force were to go with you it still wouldn’t solve the problem in the long run. Those gangs are ruthless. We can’t move and you can’t just quit going to school so I think we’ve only one place to look for help.”
Without another word the two of them slipped down on their knees and presented the problem to their heavenly Father. They both felt that God was near as they prayed. Afterward, Owen’s dad read the Bible story of David and Goliath. Owen had told him he felt a little like David having to face the monstrous giant. “David was courageous,” his dad commented, “not because he trusted in his own strength, but because he had learned to trust in the strength of God.”
By the time Owen went to bed that night, he still felt like David, but now he felt like David the Courageous, with the God of Israel on his side! He knew deep within himself that he could walk those six blocks with a confidence in his Savior instead of a fear of what man might do to him.
(To be continued next week.)