“I’m not paying no stinkin late fees!” the man was almost yelling at the poor clerk behind the counter. The young girl tried to explain the store’s policy about late fees, but he would have none of it. His voice was loud and getting louder!
Bobby and I were browsing through the movies... looking for something good to watch that night. Renting a movie is usually a simple process. Usually.
Tonight the increasing volume of this man’s tirade was pretty distracting. Crude language exploded out of his mouth like lava from a volcano! Hot and abrasive words overflowed into the room. I was beginning to get a bit nervous, actually, thinking maybe we should leave. Should we call ‘911'?
Bobby was cool as a cucumber. The ongoing situation didn’t seem to bother him at all.
The clerk was visibly relieved when the man finally stopped yelling and stormed out the door muttering to himself. I heard her laugh in nervous relief as the door shut behind him. We all began to relax as the verbal barrage ceased.
I breathed a sigh of relief also. The threat of violence had seemed so imminent. Now it was gone... the air was no longer heavy with harsh language and the emotional strain it brought.
Bobby and I paid for our movie. I shared a few shaky laughs with the clerk about the incident, and we headed for the door. Just as we got near the door, the furiously angry man opened it and stood in the doorway blocking our way. He was back! Apparently he had thought of some more abusive comments to heap upon the poor store clerk. He was shouting obscenities across the store at the frightened girl. He was terrorizing all of us!.
Or so I thought.
My husband, the guy who never likes to get in any kind of altercation with anyone, kept heading towards the door till he was inches away from this loud and abrasive person. They were now standing chest to chest and looking each other in the eye. Neither of them giving way to the other. The tension between them was thick and weighted with danger.
“What do you want?” the man spit the words out like bullets. My husband replied in a calm tone, “You are in my way. You need to move.”
My heart fell to the floor and I knew we were all going to die at that moment. This guy was going to pull out a knife or a gun and go on a killing spree right here in my little home town video store. We would be on the news... Man Kills Video Store Employee and Customers!... “Film at 11:00". I couldn’t believe Bobby had said anything to him. What in the world had possessed him?!
Fearfully, I waited for the fight to erupt!
Then the most amazing thing happened! This man who had been yelling and cursing the store employee turned his eyes away from my husband’s steady and fearless gaze. He looked downward, backed away and out of the door. He got into his car and drove away. You might say ‘ he turned tail and run.”
“Punk!” my hero said with disgust in his voice.
Relief flooded over me as we finally got into our car and headed home.
My mind was racing! I thought of what might have happened if Bobby had not acted with such authority and strength.
Reflecting on this encounter, it occurred to me how the devil does this same thing to us. He prowls about as an angry lion seeking whom he will devour. He fills our surroundings with heaviness and strife. He is crude and abusive and loud.
Yet when we rebuke or resist him in authority with the name of Jesus and say “You are in my way. You need to move”, he has to vacate the premises. If he has created an obstacle or mountain in our lives, in faith we can speak to that mountain and it will move.
My husband was my unexpected hero that night in the video store.
Jesus is my champion every day.
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