this tale is a modern rendition of a well-known and much-loved Bible story. i did take quite a few creative liberties with this one, but hopefully it will become obvious which story it is; if not, read the tag at the bottom. =)
A frosty mid-January wind gushed in as the door slammed shut. Terrance sat by the window, watching his older brothers Nick and Levi jog down the icy sidewalk to catch up to their friends. Every morning the two older boys headed off to the nearby middle-school, while nine-year-old Terrance remained at home to do school with his mom. Having discovered that he had a slight learning impairment, Terrance’s parents had decided to home-school him for a few years. Terrance loved spending time with his mom and getting to do school-work with his dog by his side, but sometimes he wished he could be like his brothers: big, smart, strong, and hanging out with friends every day. The boy used his sleeve to wipe away a fog that he had breathed onto the window and gazed at the now empty street.
Breaking his reverie, Terrance’s mom rushed into the room, holding two brown bags and glancing around.
“Did your brothers take off?” she asked, her eyes resting on her youngest son.
“Yeah,” he answered simply, turning around and letting his feet dangle over the side of the couch.
“Oh great, both of them forgot their lunch, and I’m in no state to run after them, especially in this weather,” she bit her lip in distraction.
Terrance smiled as his eyes shifted to his mom’s penguin dotted PJ’s and pink bunny slippers. “You could drive after them,” the boy suggested, desiring to help in any way he could. “Wait, no, don’t do that!” he exclaimed, his eyes wide with an idea. “I’ll take it to them! I already have on my tennis shoes and jeans, see? And I’ve got my jacket right here.” He ran over to the coat rack and pulled off his jacket from the lowest peg.
His mom watched tenderly as he zipped up his coat; reaching his hands out he said, “Give them to me! I can do it.”
The careful mother hesitated a moment before swiftly deciding. She placed the bags in his hands and a kiss on his head, “I know you can do it. Now, hurry along before it’s too late!”
Terrance gleefully headed out the door and down the porch steps as his mom called, “Be careful on the sidewalk! It could be slippery.”
“I will,” he replied, choosing his hasty steps with caution.
Two minutes later, Terrance neared the school building; as he did so, he beheld a spectacle that alarmed him. A boy considerably bigger than Terrance’s brothers was in the act of beating up and verbally abusing a much smaller boy. To his horror, Terrance saw his own brave brothers standing to the side, doing nothing. Nobody was doing anything about it. He knew that someone must do something, and he decided that he would be the one to do it. The small boy trembled as he set down his packages; “Dear Jesus,” he prayed silently, “Mommy says I can do all things through You, so please, give me the strength to do what’s right and face this bully.”
He stepped forward. “Hey,” he said faintly at first, then louder, “hey! Hey you! Leave—leave that boy alone!”
The bully dropped his business and turned his attention to Terrance. “Well, look’ee here,” he mocked, “if it isn’t Nicky and Levi’s stupid little brother. I thought you were supposed to be too wimpy to come to school. So whaddya doing here, huh?”
“I—I came to give my brothers their lunch. And—and you better stop—you better stop being mean.”
“Aw,” the bigger boy jeered, “I better stop—what did you say? “Being mean”? Ha! I better stop or what?”
“Or else,” Terrance glanced momentarily as his brothers, “or else the principle is gonna come get you!” Out of the corner of his eye, Terrance could see Levi turn and sprint into the school building.
“Is that all you got?” the bully laughed derisively, “I’ll show you how to really get at someone.”
As the older boy made his way to Terrance, the young boy staunchly held his ground. Beginning to relish the prospect of new prey, the bully suddenly heard a voice call out, and he turned around to see Levi dragging an adult along, pointing in his direction, and yelling, “There he is! He’s going to beat up my brother!”
Terrance had never been so grateful for adult intervention in his life. Before long, the bully problem was taken care of, Terrence’s mom had been called, and Terrance was waiting patiently for her to pick him up. When she arrived, she showed no signs of anger or agitation, only concern for her little boy. She ran to him and scooped him up in her arms.
“I heard of what you did just a little while ago,” she said as she squeezed him, “and I’m so proud of you. It sounds like you faced quite a giant.”
“Yes,” Terrance replied calmly, “but he didn’t seem so bad when compared to Someone bigger.”
His mom laughed. “You mean the principle?”
“No,” he said, wrapping his arms around his mother’s neck. “I mean God.”