| | |

A Righteous Disobedience

 [This is a work of fiction.  Any resemblance of any person or event to anything in the real world is purely coincidental!]

Children, obey your parents, for this is right. — Ephesians 6:1

He was only 11, and he was walking home from school.  It should have been simple.  He was under strict instructions to walk straight home, not to stop for anything, and not to bring anyone home unless he had asked for permission ahead of time.  It was, he knew, the right thing to do.

But then he  saw Debbie sitting in an alley against the wall, partially hidden behind a box.  He had already disobeyed by the time he identified her.  All he knew was that there was a human sitting in what looked like garbage.  When he got closer, he recognized her.  She had been missing from school that day.

He’d never seen anyone like this.  She had on a shirt.  Her legs were bare and he could see that she was bruised.  It looked possible that her arm was broken.  He really knew very little about it, but it shouldn’t look like that.

She just sat there and looked at him.  There was no hope in her eyes.  She knew he was supposed to go straight home.  She didn’t look embarrassed either, that she wasn’t properly dressed.  She wasn’t crying.

“Can you walk?” he asked.

“Leave me here,” she whispered.  “Your parents will beat you.  They’ll send me home.  My parents will beat me again.”

“No they won’t,” he said, and not knowing where the conviction came from he was convinced he was right.  He couldn’t remember where he had heard it, but he was sure the Bible said somewhere “let the broken victims go free.”  (Luke 4:18, REB)

She didn’t look hopeful, but when he reached down to her, and took hold of her unbroken arm, she tried to get up.  He helped her put his arm around his shoulders, and supported her weight, and then he started walking for home.  There weren’t that many people out at this time of day–there never were–but even so he never knew why nobody stopped them, or tried to help.  Somebody surely saw the young boy supporting a bruised and battered girl as they walked down the street together.  But nobody did anything.

He was getting tired.  The last few blocks were agony.  She wasn’t helping that much, he didn’t think.  He kept muttering that line to himself.  He was breaking all the rules, he knew, but this had to be right.

He was late at the front door.  His mother was waiting.  He was late enough that she might have started to look for him, but she was just at the gate.  As he stumbled through the gate he said, “Let the broken victims go free, mama.  Jesus said to let the broken victims go free.”

But his mother was busy taking Debbie in her arms, and carrying her into the house.  For the next couple of hours things were busy.  An ambulance, police, several other official looking people, all passed through.  He didn’t really know whether anyone was happy with him or angry.  The police asked him where he’d found Debbie, and finally a nice looking older lady asked him some more questions.  He answer truthfully.  Why not?  There wasn’t any good lie for this.

Finally he was alone again with his parents.  “It was the only thing I could do,” he said, looking first at his father, and then at his mother.

“Of course it was!” they both exclaimed.

“You’ve learned something important today, I think,” said his father.  “There are times to break the rules.  When I made those rules, I didn’t really expect something like this to happen.  I’m terribly proud of you.”  His father didn’t mention the option of running home quickly and getting his mother.  How could he expect the boy to think of that, and how it might have gotten help faster?

“Just don’t go using every little excuse to break the rules,” he continued.  “This time, disobeying was the righteous thing to do!”

Similar Posts