A lot of you read about the bike incident that happened the week of VBS and the pool episode that happened a few days before that. I am blown away by your generosity. I didn’t post those things to Facebook to get donations, but because you felt compelled to give, we now have a great stash waiting for whatever the families decide to do. New bike parts have been purchased and the tires are replaced. God provided repairs through you and for that we are thankful.
If you don’t know what I am talking about, let’s recap.
Our new friends who live diagonal to us are Victor & Maria (grandparents), Margarita (daughter) and Jeremy & Jarek (twin 11 year old boys-sons of Margarita). Victor works seven days a week to provide for the whole family. He saved enough money to buy the boys a pool at Wal-Mart. After the pool was put up, Jeremy and Jarek were in the water at all hours of the day and into the night. They had so much fun playing in the water. One night Jeremy came over and with tears in his eyes he told us that someone had sliced through the pool walls with a knife. He was heartbroken and so were we.
Another afternoon we had kids over to catch the bus for VBS. All of them live in the neighborhood, so they walk to our house, except for one family. Brandon and his sisters and brother live up the road and have a lot of friends in Countryside, so they are around all the time. I went to pick up the girls and the younger brother for VBS, but Brandon rode his bike to our house. While we were gone to church, someone took his bike and stabbed holes all in the tires and scratched almost all the paint off of the body.
So, I now have the privilege of telling you more of the story.
That night of VBS when the kids got off of the bus and noticed Brandon’s bike was missing, they all looked at each other and took off as a pack in one direction. There were about 20 kids, all Hispanic. Grant helped me get the smaller ones inside and rushed to find out where they were going. There was no stopping them, so he followed along for safety. They walked up to the yard of a white boy named Robbie* who was actively destroying the bike—only to find him getting more aggressive with the bike as the kids approached. Insults and curse words were thrown by both groups, but Grant quickly quieted them down. He asked Robbie if he could speak with him, but Robbie didn’t want to. He then told him that the bike was on our property when he stole it and he had to give it back. The bike was returned and Grant headed back to our house with some kids who had racing hearts, scowls on their faces, tears in their eyes and hatred in their heart.
Grant saw this as an awesome opportunity for a Jesus lesson.
So, standing in the dark in our front yard, Grant asked the group of kids why they thought Robbie would do something like that.
“He’s so mean!”
“He just does stuff like that all the time!”
“He don’t have anything better to do!”
And then as all the answers slowed down, one girl said, “He hates Mexicans, he told us so.”
And another remembered something she heard at school one day. “He said that his momma doesn’t love him so he can stay out all night if he wants to.”
Grant said you could see the lights going off in their heads. They knew that Robbie was sad and angry and didn’t have anyone in his life to show him love. They began to slowly realize that he handled his anger by being aggressive towards people and things.
In the silence of the night God slowed down the racing hearts and transformed the scowls. The tears were wiped away and the hatred in the hearts was knocked down a notch. Perhaps each kid standing there learned a little more about who Jesus is.
The take-home point was that we all need to pray for Robbie, be nice to him, and fight evil with good.
“What? I thought if someone did bad to us we are supposed to hate him and do bad back?”
No, Jesus teaches us a different way. A better way.
Since that night Grant and I have prayed to meet Robbie when we are out walking as a family and have no other neighborhood kids with us. We love Robbie just as much as we love Jeremy, Jarek and Brandon. We want to meet him to show him that he is special, too.
Oh, how it breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes to even share this story. I can’t imagine the hurt and anger in Robbie’s heart. How he feels when he is at home and no one tells him they love him. How he feels when he is walking around in the dark outside looking for a pool to cut or a bike to destroy.
And Jesus heard our prayers and is answering already. Grant was out walking with Asher and Evan Grace and met Robbie and his sister on the road. They stopped Grant and asked him for help…they needed a new bike tire. As Grant bent down to look at the bike, they asked about his scar on his head. PRAISE YOU JESUS FOR THE SCAR! Grant was able to share what God had brought him through during his car accident and shared the gospel with those kids right in the middle of the road.
Jesus, allow us to love on Robbie. Allow us to wrap our arms around him and show him that he matters to you! Allow us to see a changed heart, full of repentance. Allow us to see Robbie come to salvation knowledge of you and find happiness.
Robbie is only 11 years old. Will you pray for him, too?
*Robbie is not his real name, but God knows exactly who we are talking about.