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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Before and After (05/14/09)

TITLE: Big Jimmy
By Tim Pickl
05/16/09


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I remember when I was just a kid at Washington Elementary,
I hated it when recess came ‘cause I knew—Oh-oh, here comes Big Jimmy--
Big Jimmy was the Washington schoolyard bully back then--
Big Jimmy picked on me again and again until I gave in--
Big Jimmy took anything I had in my pocket—all my money--
One day I stood up to Jimmy and shouted “This isn’t funny!”
Jimmy laughed and laughed then he shoved me to the ground;
Then Big Jimmy kicked me real hard while I was down


Schoolyard bullies like Big Jimmy don’t care about anything
Funny thing is schoolyard bullies really think they’re something
But remember this my friend, if Big Jimmy gets you—just wait--
Schoolyard bullies like Big Jimmy have to grow up some day


It was about twenty years later Jimmy grew older but he never learned:
Now Jimmy was real big and tall and he hung out at the tavern--
Big Jimmy bullied a shorter man at the bar one Saturday night,
But this time Big Jimmy got beat up real bad in the big fight--
Big Jimmy laid there on the floor bleedin’ bad from his head,
And for the longest time, no one moved a muscle to help him!
I guess they were happy Big Jimmy finally met his match and fell;
Someone dialed 9-1-1 and I was the EMT who answered the bell


Schoolyard bullies like Big Jimmy don’t care about anything
Funny thing is schoolyard bullies really think they’re something
But remember this my friend, if Big Jimmy gets you—just wait--
Schoolyard bullies like Big Jimmy have to grow up some day


As I knelt down to help Big Jimmy, I looked up to heaven and prayed;
I remembered my childhood and cried as I bandaged his head and forgave--
Working with my partner we finally got Big Jimmy on the gurney;
We lifted him up and wheeled him away from the patrons cheering--
Big Jimmy opened his eyes and looked right at me with tears:
I gently laid my hand on his arm and God calmed all his fears--
“Wow…” I said to my partner as we closed the ambulance doors,
“God has a way of working everything for the good…and more.”


Schoolyard bullies like Big Jimmy don’t care about anything
Funny thing is schoolyard bullies really think they’re something
But remember this my friend, if Big Jimmy gets you—just wait--
Schoolyard bullies like Big Jimmy have to grow up some day


When we got to the Emergency Room it was the end of my shift;
God asked me to stay with Big Jimmy through his distress--
I prayed for Jimmy and called and asked others to pray with me--
Finally after a long night of waiting and a risky surgery--
Big Jimmy pulled through--thank God—thank God he was okay--
But Jimmy was in a coma, and we continued to pray and wait--
Several days later I got the word while out on another call:
Big Jimmy opened his eyes and asked for me to come


Schoolyard bullies like Big Jimmy don’t care about anything
Funny thing is schoolyard bullies really think they’re something
But remember this my friend, if Big Jimmy gets you—just wait--
Schoolyard bullies like Big Jimmy have to grow up some day


When I walked in his hospital room something changed:
Big Jimmy the big schoolyard bully was cryin’ real bad--
He turned over one hand and tried to reach for me--
I went to his side and took his hand as the tears streamed:
For the longest time we didn’t—we couldn’t—say anything--
Then Big Jimmy blinked away tears and tried to say something--
It was noisy and it was too hard to hear what he was whispering--
I leaned over and heard him say “Please forgive me for everything…”

Remember this my friend, if Big Jimmy gets you—just wait--
Schoolyard bullies like Big Jimmy have to grow up some day


Years later we laugh about it when we meet for breakfast:
How God can change even the biggest and baddest of us!
Not only is Big Jimmy our Sunday School teacher,
He’s become our Pastor, and he’s an awesome preacher


Schoolyard bullies like Big Jimmy don’t care about anything
Funny thing is schoolyard bullies really think they’re something
But remember this my friend, if Big Jimmy gets you—just wait--
Schoolyard bullies like Big Jimmy have to grow up some day

Amen.



+++

Reference:

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (New International Version)
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Acts 2:37-40 (New International Version)
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call." With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation."


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This article has been read 666 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Christine Dunn05/21/09
A really creative idea. I love how you described Jimmy's transformation. I found some of the longer lines a little difficult to read. They could perhaps be broken up a little, but perhaps it's just me! A very good lesson - well done!
Charla Diehl 05/23/09
I like the message here and how Jimmy became a changed man. I feel this would have read better in a story format. As a poem the flow was uneven and the rhyming was hit and miss. Not that a poem has to rhyme at all, but when you start it that way it should carry through. That's just my opinion though.
Patricia Herchenroether05/26/09
I don't know whether to call this prose or poetry! hehe But the story idea itself was a great one and I liked the repetitive paragraph, as well as the end.
Betty Castleberry05/27/09
This needs a steel guitar accompaniment. Creative use of the topic. Nicely done.
Bryan Ridenour05/27/09
I agree with Betty. I can hear someone like the late Johnny Cash singing this as a spoken ballad and then sing the "Chorus" about bullies growing up someday. Good job!
Jan Ackerson 05/27/09
Great story line, super characterization.

The meter tripped me up here and there--I wonder if this would make a better prose story than poem?

Wonderful message of forgiveness, touchingly written.
Mona Purvis05/27/09
Good message about an issue that is a "memory" for so many all thier lives. I, too, think the story would work better in story format. I enjoyed reading it.

Mona
Melinda Wells05/27/09
Wow! This was such a good story, and in poetry form! I loved it all. The format, the ryhme, the rhythm, the message! Thank you for sharing!
Pamela Kliewer05/27/09
This is really good. I love how it flowed and it has a great message.