ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > ROOTS > 2008-02 > 1202054564
From: Lee&NormaSherwood <>
Subject: [ROOTS-L] Way Back When
Date: Sun, 03 Feb 2008 10:02:44 -0600
This is the story of one child’s unthinking but evil act in which
pain was inflicted on another child. It’s not very pretty, but in it
you’ll see, not just sin in the very young, but also the just
punishment that resulted from it. But even beyond that you’ll see
forgiveness and restoration of a friend, even in the absence of an
apology, and that’s rare in childhood. In it we can see ourselves
today as adults, in reality much like grown-up children. We hurt
others and we have regrets, but we often neglect to apologize. And
yet they forgive us. And so it is true that life is much the same
today as it was Way Back When. If we look far, far back, we will
remember One on whom death itself was inflicted, and yet He forgave.
Can we profit from His sacrifice as well as His gracious attitude in
forgiving us? We can.
When we are only seven or eight we do things we wouldn’t think of
doing when we’re a little older. That’s part of growing up, but
sometimes the results teach us painful lessons. In fact at that age
I did what I’d call a dastardly deed to one of the best little pals I
had. Yet I really didn’t realize the harm it would cause, way back
Freddie Hubbs and I lived across the street from each other for some
time, and we played together quite a lot. Freddie was a year or so
younger than I was, but we played with our little metal cars and
trucks in the dirt front yards of our homes on Adams Street in
Wichita Falls, and we became pretty good friends. Since I was that
much older than Freddie I was not above doing things he couldn’t do
just to prove I was superior, which of course I wasn’t. I was just
older and bigger. Of course, boys that age don’t have much wisdom.
Well, one day I made one big mistake as I showed him something I
could do, but which he couldn’t. But it showed that I was capable of
making very poor and hurtful choices.
We were playing with our little cars in the sandy soil when we
noticed a nearby red ant bed. We first went over and smashed a few,
but because we were barefoot that was a little bit risky. At least
Freddie thought it was. So to show off I smashed a lot of them with
my bare foot. But that wasn’t enough. I didn’t think he was all
that impressed, so I showed him how to pick them up with my bare
hands without being stung. I would pick up an ant between my thumb
and index finger, then give it a quick squeeze, and it would die a
quick death. Well, it almost always died quickly. Anyhow, he was
more impressed by that. Yet that wasn’t always the end of the game.
If the ant didn’t die, even though mortally injured, it was still
capable of inflicting a painful sting.
So, I picked up an ant in each hand, squeezed good and hard, and
suddenly I had this evil impulse to put them down the back of
Freddie’s shirt. Freddie didn’t quite realize what was happening
until I released those rascals on him. Suddenly Freddie screamed in
pain for his mother. After that it was a pretty bleak day for both
of us. Poor Freddie did have a doting mother who knew how to comfort
her son and she applied some soothing lotion to try to reduce the
hurt. But when she finished with that, you can guess what she did.
She went right across the street and informed my mother what kind of
little ogre she was raising.
And so to make a long and painful story mercifully short, I received
somewhere near the punishment I deserved. And it was quite some time
before Freddie would play with me again. I don’t think you’d blame
him one bit. Yet Freddie and I have maintained a life long
friendship in spite of that awfully painful act of mine.
As we look back from this, the present, to those days and events of
long ago, with their childish indiscretions and foolish decisions, we
often wish we had “done it differently”. But since we did not, we
now have a memory, a memory that is on the one hand painful and
filled with regret, but on the other, a memory that is rich with
nostalgia. Fred and Lee were very much adversaries back then, but
today we have our memories of that short, small incident in our
lives. And we both cherish it as a bittersweet part of our lives Way
Way Back When
|[ROOTS-L] Way Back When by Lee&NormaSherwood <>|