Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The black walnut curve ball.

Gary was the brat of the neighborhood. His mom bought him expensive toys that most of us could only hope for. His bike was way fancier than mine. It looked like a real (almost) motorcycle. It had a gas tank, speedometer and a button that produced a motorcycle sound when you pushed it. I must have been jealous to remember all that detail. Actually, it may have been the bike stolen by Bubba Davenport. Indeed it was the same bike.

There was a black walnut tree in our yard. At certain times of year walnuts would fall to the ground. I guess they must not have been good to eat because my mom never made a fuss about collecting them for food or anything.

I made good use of the walnuts for playing. I remember discovering some walnuts that had been left in a container outside where rainwater collected. After soaking for a while, the water turned black like ink. I tried to use it for tattooing among other things. It didn't work very well.

Gary was kind of fat, and a little shorter than me. It seems like he was a year younger than me too. I enjoyed picking on him a little. He always made it worth while by getting very frustrated. He would even threaten to tell his mom. Oh how I loved when he threatened to tell his mom. I wasn't afraid of her.

Poor Gary drove his bike past my house one day. I thought it would be funny to chuck a walnut in his direction. Scare him a little. Maybe get him riled up. But not hit him with the walnut. Just whizz it by his head so he could hear it as it passed.

I was a decent baseball player and could throw pretty well - maybe better than I thought. I picked up a walnut and threw it like a baseball. My target was the air just behind his head. Close enough to scare him. That's all. I put a lot on it. He was moving to my right so I aimed just left allowing for the movement. This was going to be good. So good.

When I released the walnut it was right on target, headed for the space just behind Gary. Then, almost in slow motion, I saw the walnut curve hard to the right, straight for his head. It hit him just behind the ear, knocking him of his fancy bike.

I knew he wouldn't believe me. How could my intentions have been anything other than what happened? "I'm sorry" wouldn't have made it past the ringing in his ears. I just shook my head and turned away, disappointed in myself. How could I do something so mean? That's not me.

Gary got back on his bike. He turned around and headed back home with one hand on the handle bars and the other hand on his head. He was crying, "I'm going to tell my mom!"

Although I still didn't fear his mom's retribution, I hated what I had done.

Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12  (NLT)

God bless,

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