Not a Sparrow
By Hilkiah Angell
Anger appeared in the neighborhood and attached himself to an older boy who was routinely abused by his parents. This boy began to make it his business to harass Joseph, to push him around, beat him up. He split our young charge's head open with a rock. Goaded on by anger, he knocked young Joseph down, and while sitting on his chest, rubbed dog leavings in his face. I was grieved to see, in that instant, a spirit of the enemy offer to block the memory for Joseph. The little boy, traumatized to the maximum, accepted the help. He didn't know any better, and could not be expected to be protected by his grandmother. Again and again, sorrow buffeted him, and although bloody and hurt, he was unbowed. I heard him utter a vow, "No one will ever do this to me again." As an angel, I have never been subjected to the feelings of man, but I have seen that look before and have heard the inner groaning from the heart that is broken. If men only knew how much God loves them. Doesn't anybody know the Word of the Lord? That night I stayed in little Joseph's room strengthening him. I kept urging the thought, "God loves you." Pray little guy, pray. God will help you. As his little heart opened, he did pray to His Father in Heaven. The moon was shining across his red eyes and tear stained face and I was reminded of why God created man. This little child who had open knowledge of his God, how much could be accomplished if he only learns His Word!
America won the war, the allies were victorious. A major move on Satan's part, has failed again. He will not be able to set himself up as God, at least not yet. With the war over, Joseph's father returned home to a joyous welcome and a return to normal life. The post-war era is a very good time here. The people are close together. There is plenty of work, prosperity reigns and everyone expects a great future. Most of the local people attend some kind of denominational church. Our young charge attends his family's church, which is one of the oldest and largest. They once knew God well, but as I have observed through the ages, men begin to dominate and grow larger and their knowledge of our Savior, wanes with every generation.
Young Joseph did well for some years. He avidly pursued baseball, basketball and football. He came alive when he was on a sports field and was competing. He was very shy, and he seemed to feel equal when he performed well. It appeared he might be settling down and gaining some control over his emotions when an unfortunate incident occurred. Joseph found a bowl filled with quarters in a kitchen closet. He relayed this to his friend Bobbie. Bobbie was a much older boy who lived next door. At the urging of the older boy, they both helped themselves to a handful of the quarters. The money had been counted out by Joseph's father and was awaiting wrappers. They were to be taken to the bank and deposited. When Joseph's father counted the money, he discovered there was a discrepancy and went to seek Joseph. When he found Joseph, he caught him spending the money.
During their ride home, there was a fearful silence. Upon their arrival, Joseph's father dragged him from the car and into his bedroom. He had a very large and wide belt and after removing Joseph's trousers, proceeded to administer a severe beating. His father had lost all control of himself and his emotions. The beating went far beyond a child's correction. Young Joseph, no doubt in great fear and pain, cried out: "I hate you! I'll kill you someday!" These words shouted out incensed his father further, who continued the brutal assault. Had I not prevailed upon Margaret to stop it, there is no telling how far it might have gone. There was no joy to be found in that household for several days. The relationship between father and son had been ruptured. The trust the boy had in his father had perished. Rebellion had been fueled and Resentment would rear its ever ugly head throughout the rest of their relationship.
As Joseph grew, so grew his temper. This was not a good sign. He was greatly in need of someone who could have ministered some healing to his damaged inner emotional state. He is naturally very bright, but he is beginning to show a lack of confidence now. If he could only know God's opinion of him. If only he didn't have to rely on men and his own emotions, I suppose our job would be easier.
Shammah appears and brings unfortunate word that the enemies troops are constantly building up their forces at Bedlam. With the war over, the enemy has available many of his troops that had been involved in the war. The strongman, Alchemy, presides over Sorcery and Alcoholism and his partner Witchcraft. They have other troops under them. We can certainly expect an increase in drug use, mind control agents and hypnotics, for these are the powers behind the psychiatrist and the doctor. The enemies I've been speaking of even get the doctors to dispense them as medicine. Little do the people know, that they are not being healed. They are actually turning themselves over to the denizens of the deep.
In Joseph's freshmen year of high school he became a fine young athlete. But because he had started school at such a young age, he was naturally of a smallish stature. He had to compete with much older and larger boys. One day, Joseph's mother met with the basketball coach. He told her that Joseph was a fine player but because of his size, he would never make it in sports. Margaret told her son what the coach had said. She tried to emphasize the 'fine player' but all Joseph heard was that he would never make it in sports. When we saw the look in the boy's face, Benaiah and Shammah moaned at the same time. As Joseph walked away we saw in that single moment a boy totally dejected in mind and spirit. He had laid up all his self-worth into the last vehicle he could find, which was sports. That was taken away from him now. We heard him utter a vow to himself: "If I can't be the best, I will be the worst." I know about the vows people make to themselves. They are soon out of the mind, but they also have a powerful effect on the person's life. In this case, it would have a devastating effect on Joseph's life. Now the job of guarding Joseph from harm was going to be extraordinarily difficult. Joseph would be bound to this vow until that one day he was made aware of it, and could repent and rebuke it. How many times before have I heard people exclaim over and over; "I will never, I will never" and wonder why to the end of their lives-they never...