Never Underestimate the Power of a Ten Year Old
E. Dian Moore
“I can make those guys go away,” Lucy whispered to Tina.
The skinny ten-year old girls looked back at the gang of teenagers who were following them. They heard the boys calling back and forth to each other, making plans to grab the girls and take them to their clubhouse. The girls knew bad things happened there. Last month, a girl from their school had been found there, unconscious and bloodied from being beaten. She was still in a coma.
Tina quivered and held tight to Lucy’s hand. “You can’t do anything. We best start runnin’.” Tears were dripping from Tina’s dark brown eyes onto cheeks still chubby like a young girl’s face ought to be. Her hand-me-down dress of faded purple and white daisies just reached her scabbed knees. Lucy wore a red polyester dress a size too big, causing the neck to hang over her bony shoulder. It was misshapen from wear, longer in the front than in back.
“Please, Lucy. Don’t say nothin’ to them.”
Lucy was praying for God’s angels to come and protect them. Her thin brown arm pulled Tina closer. She squeezed Tina’s fingers in reassurance. “It’ll be alright.”
Lucy’s hair was curlier and lighter than Tina’s glossy black. Both girls inherited their brown eyes from their father. The girls didn’t understand the implications of being the same age and having the same Daddy but different Mommies, but everyone else did. When Lucy’s mother died from a gunshot wound inflicted by a drug dealer during a deal gone bad, Lucy moved in with her father and half-sister Tina.
The girls walked quickly and tried not to look back. Neither one of them had on shoes. In their fear, they had left them in the park where they had been playing. They had been having so much fun they forgot the time and waited too long to leave. Now they might never get home.
“Hey girlies,” sneered one of the boys. The others laughed. The little girls were small for their age, defenseless against a pack of wild things. The gang seemed to sense their fear, maybe even smelled it, and they reacted as wild things do. The gang salivated from the want of a taste of the young girls' blood. They all started running at once toward the girls, with heavy footsteps sounding like thunder.
Tina gasped and pulled frantically at Lucy’s arm. “Run!” she screamed.
Lucy held tight to Tina and started running, still praying, “Please God, Please God, Please God,” a mantra repeated over and over.
The girls stayed about 15 yards ahead of the gang until Tina fell; jerking Lucy’s arm so hard it spun Lucy to face the crowd. They were too close.
She kept chanting, “Please God. Please God. Please God.”
God said, in Lucy’s head, “Stop them. You have the power. Remember?”
Lucy faced the gang, trembling, but cried out. ”Stop, in the name of Jesus.” She thrust both hands out and stepped in front of Tina, a four-foot warrior of God. Her voice squeaked and her lungs seemed to be out of air. She was panting and thought frantically, “How can they hear me?”
She drew a breath and forced herself to stand firm. Louder, she cried,” By the blood of Jesus, we are protected.” She started to feel stronger and her eyes began to blaze with power and conviction, though she was still shaking head to toe from the remnants of fear and adrenaline.
Again, she cried out, louder, and took a bold step forward. “Stop, by the power of the blood of the Lamb.” She didn’t budge. She smiled as she felt God’s power let loose.
The first row of gangsters skidded to a stop ten feet from Lucy who stood in their way, Tina behind her, still on the ground. The rest fell into the front lines and tried to push their way through, but they could not. An invisible force kept their feet rooted to the broken sidewalk they stood upon. They covered their eyes as a too-bright light shone in their faces. And then they cowered in dread as a warrior angel stepped from within the light and placed himself between the girls and the gang.
“Be gone!” roared the angel.
He towered over the gang, and he gathered more strength and more power from each word of Lucy’s continued prayers, now a litany of “Thank you’s." The angel kept growing until he was formed into the mightiest and most frightening thing the gang had ever seen. And the most beautiful and loveliest creature the girls had ever seen.
The gang fled, falling and stumbling in fear. Their footsteps were now those of the panicked instead of those with evil intentions.
The angel turned and smiled at the girls, while he reached down and brought Tina gently to her feet. She stared in awe, speechless.
“Remember, you will always have this power over evil. You never have to fear evil. The power is always inside of you for you to use. It will be there as long as Jesus lives in your heart.” The angel then vanished as abruptly as he had arrived.
The girls were alone and they listened a moment to the quietness, hearing only the soft sounds of televisions turned on inside the houses lining the street. They heard their Dad calling them and hurried to meet him.
“See, I told you so,” said Lucy.
“How did you know?”
“My Mommy knew about the power and she taught it to me. But I guess she forgot to use it. She must have kicked Jesus out of her heart the same time she kicked Daddy out.”
“I ain’t ever kickin’ anyone out of my heart.”
“Me either.” Lucy took Tina’s hand and they skipped to meet their Daddy another half block away.
Well constructed story! The moral of not hardening one's heart and the implication of the need for forgiveness and the power of forgiving was communicated in a subtly powerfull manner that fit into the story like a poetic glove. Well done!