Think About It!
Dark grey clouds hovered low over the blight-stricken streets of Johnstown. The life and energy of the little tourist town was instantly snuffed out when hurricane Katrina blasted her way through. The joyful melodies that once played over the loud speakers all over town were silenced – never to be heard again.
Riule and Jess walked aimlessly down the deserted streets batting sticks against scattered stones just for something to do.
“Gosh Jess, do you think our town will ever get back to the way it used to be?”
“I dun know, man….it’s so depressing. Looks pretty hopeless right now, don’t it?”
“I loved Johnstown. It was always so much fun…I guess that’s why my folks decided to stay and try to rebuild. But look at it… it’s like a ghost town, man.”
Visitors came and went, but not as bustling tourists as before. Now they consisted of clean-up crews and transients – people left homeless and broken. The first ventured to bring revival and hope, while the latter only offered more darkness and dread.
“What do you think about……”
Jess’s question was left dangling in mid air as Riule was violently grabbed from behind.
“Hey…what the…?” A brief spurt of scuffling ensued as Jess attempted to wrestle the boy to the ground.
The attacker’s movements were swift and slippery and just as suddenly as he struck, so was he to grab Riule’s wallet and take off running.
Scrambling to pick himself up off the pavement, Riule yelled, “Let’s get him!”
Tearing down the street, the boys gained on the assailant. With one flying leap, Riule was able to thrust himself forward and grab the boy’s legs near the ankles and down they went. They hit the cement hard and all Riule had on his mind was revenge.
Without reserve, Riule lunged for the nearest chunk of broken concrete and raised it high to take his attacker out. Riule had the boy pinned under his body weight as he sat forcefully on the boys back, he was ready to deliver a deadly blow.
“Riule, NO!” Jess yelled as he grabbed his friend’s wrist.
“STOP, MAN, STOP! I know what you are thinking, but don’t do it Riule!”
“Are you crazy, Jess. He deserves what he gets! He stole my wallet. He’s gonna pay…. I am going to make him pay! Now, let go of me!”
“Riule, I can’t let you do this. Think about what you are doing! Think about it! Yeh sure, it’ll feel good to you right now, but it won’t when you are staring through iron bars for the rest of your life.”
“Come on Riule, cool off a minute, buddy. Take your money back and let the punk go. He’ll come into his own some day. I don’t want you suffering the consequences for any foolish act, you hear?”
“Punks like this don’t learn, Jess.”
Reluctantly he conceded. “Alright, I’ll let him go….but it’s only because you grabbed me in time. If you hadn’t been here, this dude would’ve been history!”
“I know man, I know. But if you recall we learned a long time ago that some battles are just better left up to God to finish… this happens to be one of those times. Now get off him and let him go.”
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay says the Lord.” Romans 12:19 (NRSV)
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