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Posts Tagged ‘bullies’


Friday night is date night; has been that way for over thirty years now.  Each week, Bill and I will retreat into the niche we have carved out in our marriage — and spend a few hours together, just being together.  There have been moments, like our twentieth wedding anniversary, when we had no money, and sat in the car at Taco Bell. We found ourselves thankful for small things.  Some Fridays, we go out to eat; sometimes, we sit on our deck; sometimes, we take a day trip…. The point is that Friday is a hallowed time — set apart for our relationship.  We lay aside our responsibilities. We get to remember why we got together in the first place….

I love that time…. mostly because we both guard it so fiercely….

Over the years, if we miss one, we always make it up…..

All that being said, this week’s date was a movie.  It’s been hot lately, so we opted for an afternoon matinee and a pizza joint closeby.  (Pizza is no good unless it comes in huge by-the-slice pieces, and is served with a New York accent, we’ve discovered.)  The movie?  We went to see the remake of “The Karate Kid.”  Now, I’m not a movie critic; nor would I want to be.  And, I have a difficult time watching movies that are remakes of old favorites — it’s like watching Jack Black try to be Humphrey Bogart.  That image just might ruin “Casablanca” for me forever…  You just can’t replace the original.  

But I loved this movie… not because it was done “better,” or because it was “more relevant.”  It’s presentation and setting were unique and different.  And yes, I know, it should have been titled “The Kung Fu Kid.”  I don’t care. I loved it because it brought me to a personal discovery; one that I will know the Lord will be working on for some time into the future with me.  I found myself weeping through the beginning parts of the movie; so much so, that my husband reached over and gently touched my hand. “Are you okay?” he asked.

I nodded, even though I couldn’t quite put into words what what happening within my own soul. 

“Was this the wrong movie?” he asked, with a smile.

I shook my head. “No,” I answered. “I’m okay. But, I might need to get out of here for a minute.” 

Fight or Flight had kicked in.

But I stayed.  I was fascinated by the storyline.  As I continued to watch the account unfold, I made some discoveries.  As a missionary’s child, like the boy in the story, I too, had been the “new kid” in a foreign culture.  My parents changed countries and cultures several times during my “in the nest” years. And, in each new place, I had been the “different” child, who had needed to learn the unspoken rules. 

And, while I hadn’t been required to learn a new spoken language (I was in Australia and England growing up), there had been a complete encyclopedia of cultural expectations I found myself unable to decipher. Handicapped by my young age, and lack of ability to communicate, I dealt with one bullying situation after another; even when we returned to the United States.

A lot is being said about bullies these days; from movies like “Mean Girls,” to classic texts like “Raising Cain” and “Saving Ophelia.”  It seems that the violence so prevalent in our culture, is trickling its way down into the playgrounds and classrooms, the living rooms and back yards of our nation. It never used to be the case, but now it is a normal thing to see a four year-old enrolled in karate, or kung fu classes.  When I ask a parent “why,”… the answer?  “He has to know how to defend himself.” 

There was a day when we encouraged our children to take care of those who were weaker than themselves; to look out for the underdog; to stand against the bullies…..  I have had clients; eleven and twelve years of age, mind you, who find it difficult to find a reason to go to school in the morning; who have discerned the world to be an unforgiving place in their childhood — when everything should be about the fun of discovery.

Not survival.  And how well we have all learned the meaning of that word — survival.

Fear and intimidation are terrible things, especially in one’s childhood; especially in one’s adolescence; especially in one’s adulthood. 

And, although they began in Eden’s Garden long ago, they have maintained their continuum through the ages. Satan’s goal has always been to use hierarchy, false authority, and manipulation in his process of bringing death and destruction.  I have seen the effects of bullying; emotional and physical; on all kinds of people over the years.

It’s funny how a person who thinks they are “just expressing themselves,” will fail to see the effects of their selfishness and bullying nature on those around them. Or, how a child who has learned to cover his insecurities will grow into a man who abuses; bullying others to keep him happy.  Or how a student, who struggles with feeling intelligent will take it out on those students around him who understand the materials. Having been the underdog, I now find myself seeking to serve as one who can throw a rope. 

As believers, God calls us to help one another; to serve one another, to turn the other cheek  — but not at the loss of our own identities.  Dear reader, never let Fear or Intimidation keep you from becoming the man or woman God has called you to become…. stand up against that Inner Bully — speak the Word of God — stand on the Truth —

Do what I am doing; at 53. 

Let yourself heal. Find a safe place; a group of safe people — and choose to open your heart.

Injury was never part of the original Design…. but Healing is part of the Divine Solution. The Fear didn’t come from God.

“God has not given us a spirit of Fear (timidity); but of power, love, and of a sound mind.”  II Timothy 1:7

Blessings.

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