The roar of laughter rang in John’s ears as he knelt on the floor to pick up his scattered books. No one would offer to help him, not with the two meanest thugs in the school standing over him laughing. Every day, for the last month, Pat Miller and Jessie Collins caught John outside of his sixth period class. If John had just been another new kid at Central High, Pat and Jessie would have tired of their game long ago, but the fact that John was a Christian seemed to drive the tormentors.
“Look, Jess,” Pat sneered, “the Rev is on his knees praying again.”
“Now, Preacher John, what did we tell you about the separation of Church and state?” Jessie asked.
“This here is the United States of America. You can’t be going around praying and carrying that Bible in our halls anymore. This ain’t no church Rev. Take your religion out of here.”
Angry retorts came flooding to John’s brain. There were so many names that he wanted to call these two. So many things that he wanted to say to them. He clamped his mouth shut. If he spoke now it would only hurt his testimony. John prayed for strength as dusted off the knees of his khaki pants and stood.
“No sermon for us today, Preacher?” Pat grabbed John’s Bible off the top of his stack of books.
John wanted to snatch the book away from him. There was no telling what the bully would do to the Word of God. Three pages were already torn out of the book of Genesis, and just yesterday, Jessie left a large, dark footprint on the 54th Psalm. John stood still while Pat ruffled through the pages.
“How can you understandth this junk?” Pat said with a laugh, and threw the Bible back on the top of John’s books.
“I would be happy to talk to you gentlemen about the Lord,” John answered. “Right after school, in Mrs. Kelly’s room, a group of us are getting together to study the Bible and pray. You are welcome to join us.”
“We ain’t goin’ to spend time with Jesus Freaks.”
“Come on man, let’s get out of here. We’re going to be late for gym.” Pat and Jessie bumped John as they passed him on either side. The books stayed firmly in his hands this time.
John walked to Mr. Ryder’s history class and sat down at his desk. With only a minute till the bell rang, John bowed his head and prayed for the souls of his classmates. It wasn’t easy, but he also prayed for Pat and Jessie.
Matthew 5:44 – But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (KJV)
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