Chapter 6: Take That Stupid!
The first day at school with the T2U’s had started like none other Eli had ever known.
As he sat in math class that morning, Eli could hardly focus. He kept thinking about what happened on the way to school: the story of Jesus on his T2U unfolding before his very eyes. Then Eli smiled to himself as he remembered how he bravely chased off the bullies that morning. “Eli,” a distant voice pierced his thoughts. “Eli!” Eli jump, startled, and looked up to see his math teacher staring at him from the front of the class.
“Eli, what’s the answer to the question?” asked the teacher.
Eli had no clue what the teacher was talking about … so he guessed.
“Wrong, Eli,” exclaimed his teacher. “Are you okay? You seem to be elsewhere today.”
“Uh, I’m … I’m okay,” stammered Eli. “Sorry Teach.” Despite the warning, Eli had to fight to keep focused on his math class. ‘Buzzzzzz,’ went the school bell. Finally, Eli thought as he sprang out of the classroom and almost sprinted to the lunchroom to meet Ezri as he did every day for lunch. As he passed through the crowd and peeped around the shoulders of those in front of him, Eli finally spotted Ezri.
“Ez! Hey Ezri!” From a distance, Ezri circled around to catch a glimpse of Eli. Ezri smiled then walk toward Eli.
“So, how’s your morning going?” asked Ezri.
“Crummy! I can hardly concentrate,” said Eli. “All I want to do is pop open the T2U and find out what else I can discover.”
“I know what you mean,” echoed Ezri. “I almost forgot Father said to never uncover the watch face in public. I kept gazing at it, and Miss Rutherford finally yelled at me to pay attention.”
“Yeah, I had a similar problem myself,” said Eli.
Eli and Ezri headed to the lunch line and picked up their meals. Since it was a nice day, the two headed outside to eat and to be able to talk in peace.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes this morning,” Ezri said. “What’s up with this T2U being able to show us stories right from the Bible?”
“Yeah, if I didn’t know better,” said Eli, “I’d thought a hidden video camera from the Bible days had just shown us the death and resurrection of Jesus.”
“This is all so strange, Eli. What do you think the Lord is trying to do?”
“Don’t know,” Eli responded. “But I can’t wait to see what He’s going to tell us next.”
Just then, a big, tall boy bumped into him, knocking his food onto the ground. “Hey, stupid, watch what you’re doing,” yelled the stranger.
“What do you mean?” responded Eli. “You’re the one who bumped into me. Now look what you’ve done. I’m covered with food.”
“Serves you right, stupid. If you don’t like it, try this on for size,” the boy said, shoving his fist in Eli’s face.
Eli stared up at him, not saying anything. He wanted to belt the guy but knew that wouldn’t be Christian-like. Besides, the boy was a head taller and at least 30 pounds heavier than Eli.
“Hey, now I remember you,” the boy sneered. “You’re the stupid that tripped over himself this morning when me and my buds were picking on that punk. Not so brave when you don’t have your pals with you, are you?”
“What pals?” asked Eli with a puzzled look.
“You’re even dumber than you look. The men with the weird, glowing white suits. Talk about a bad fashion choice,” retorted the bully. Then, without reason, the boy shoved Eli and flung him right over his seat. “Take that, stupid,” the boy said with a grin, turning and walking away. Ezri ran to help Eli stand to his feet.
“I’ve a mind to knock his lights out,” said Eli.
“Don’t worry,” Ezri said as she dusted off her brother. “God will make good out of what the enemy meant for bad.”
Without warning, Eli’s T2U began to vibrate. “Hey, Ezri, check out the T2U,” Eli said as he huddled by Ezri and pushed a button to reveal the watch crystal.
As the crystal glowed, words began to scroll across the screen: “1 Corinthians 13:13: ‘And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.’”
“Awe, Ezri, that’s not what I want to hear right now. I’d like to belt that jerk.”
“Now, Eli, remember that Jesus loves that guy just as much as he does you,” responded Ezri.
“Why do you always have to be right?” muttered Eli.
Again the T2U vibrated and glowed as another message scrolled by: “1 Corinthians 13:4-7: ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.’”
“Okay, okay, Lord,” responded Eli. “I get the point. Just help me to be more like You.” Ezri added, “You know, Eli, God just might use you to tell that guy about Jesus.”
“No way!” Eli said without hesitation.
“Way,” said Ezri, “Way!”
Lunch break had ended, and Ezri and Eli headed back to class. Later on, after school let out, the two headed home, eager to tell their dad about the day’s events. When they got home, they both burst into the story of what the watches had shown them, and what the Spirit of God had shared with them. Elijah softly reminded them that he couldn’t have possibly programmed a watch to reveal the heart of God. That night, both Eli and Ezri went to bed, excited again for a new day and new adventures. Eli didn’t even want to take off his T2U and go to bed.
With the first crack of morning light shining through his bedroom window, Eli bounced out of bed and quickly got ready for school. Their day didn’t start out quite as exciting as the previous day. They got to school with no incidents, and both kids found themselves able to focus fairly well on the lessons being taught. Once again lunchtime finally rolled around, and Eli and Ezri made their way to the lunch line then outside to eat and enjoy the sunshine.
Ezri suddenly stopped, and Eli almost ran into her. “Hey!” he started to exclaim. And then he saw what she was staring at, and immediately got quiet. Several feet away, the bully who had been bothering them was arguing with another boy even bigger than he was. Eli and Ezri watched as the two scuffled and then the bigger boy shoved their bully. Suddenly, Eli’s and Ezri’s T2U’s began to vibrate and glow. Before Eli could even reach for his, the T2U speakers went into action: “You idiot! I told you, I’m the man of the house now. Dad’s never comin’ back home, so you better get used to it.”
A puzzled look came over the faces of both Eli and Ezri. “What is it talking about?” asked Ezri. “Beats me.”
“Just leave me alone or I’ll tell Mom,” the words blared out, again from the speakers of both T2U’s.
“Now that’s weird,” exclaimed Eli. “Hey, look,” motioned Ezri. “Look at the two guys fighting over there and listen. I think our T2U’s are picking up their conversation.”
“That’s impossible,” retorted Eli. “Like any of this stuff going on with the T2Us is possible,” responded Ezri.
“JUST LEAVE ME ALONE,” the speakers blared even louder. This time, Eli and Ezri could tell that the words coming from the mini speakers were in sync with the actions and lips of the brute of a boy standing some distance away. “DAD WILL TOO COME BACK HOME. Anyway, I’m not doing anything you tell me. So just shut up!” Just as quickly as the fight started, it ended as the two boys stormed away from each other.
The smaller boy who had pushed Eli the day before could be seen wiping away tears from his eyes. Eli still hadn’t uncovered the T2U. But as the watch began to glow and vibrate urgently, Eli popped off the lid to find words scrolling across the screen: “1 Corinthians 13:13: ‘And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.’”
“Wow, Ezri,” Eli said stunned. “I guess that bully is putting on a big front. Deep inside he’s hurting, and God wants to show him love. ”
“What did I tell you?” asked Ezri. “Didn’t I say you may be the one to tell him about Jesus?”
“You know, I hate to admit when you’re right,” said Eli. “But … maybe you’re right.”
That night, as Eli lay on his bed, his T2U on the night stand next to his bed, he once again couldn’t sleep. This time though, it was not from sheer excitement about the T2U. Eli lay thinking about the boy at school. He was no longer angry with him but sad because the boy’s heart was hurting.
“Dear Lord,” Eli prayed softly. “Please help me share Your love to that boy. But … but I’m too much of a coward. I’m barely brave enough to talk to others at church about You. Jesus, please help me.” The T2U began to shine. At first Eli didn’t notice it, but the glow became so bright, the dark room lit up.
Eli read the words flowing across the screen: “Acts 1:8: ‘You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witness.’” Suddenly 3D images appeared on the screen. Eli saw a room filled with men, women, and even some children. They were praying with all their might,
“Lord, send us your promise. Send us your baptism in the Holy Spirit.” Other voices came over the speakers of the T2U: “What is this all about, the ‘Holy Spirit’? We’re not even sure what God has intended for us. But we want the power Christ Jesus spoke of before He ascended to heaven.”
Suddenly, the T2U glowed so brightly it looked like a high-powered flashlight. The bright light in the darkened bedroom blinded Eli for a moment. When he was able to look again at the screen, he saw the people, once praying, now dancing about with joy. Words that Eli could not understand were flowing from their lips as everyone at the same time stretched their hands in the air—all smiling and laughing.
In between the words that sounded like languages from around the world, Eli could hear the occasional shouts of “Praise you, Jehovah, our Creator,” “Praise you, almighty King, Lord of all,” and, “Your promise has come!”
Eli fell to the floor onto his knees and began crying to Jesus, “Lord, I want to have Your power, so I can be a bold witness for You.”
In answer, more words scrolled across the face of the T2U:
“Matthew 21:21-22: ‘If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.’
“Acts 1:8: ‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses.’
“John 16:24: ‘Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.’”
With that, Eli cried out, “Dear Lord, fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Give me Your boldness and Your power. In Jesus name I pray.”
The next morning, Eli sprang out of bed once again. He raced into the kitchen, “Dad! Dad! You won’t believe what I saw last night!” He quickly explained everything that happed the night before. “And then I received the Holy Spirit. I know it sounds weird, but I’m not scared any longer to tell others about Jesus. In fact, I plan on sharing my faith with that kid at school.”
“Good for you,” said Elijah. “I know the Spirit of God will be with you.”
“And I know He will give me the words to say because I asked Him to.” With that bold statement, Eli grabbed his bag to leave for school, ready for the adventure of a new day.
- What do you think were the most important lessons Eli and Ezri learned in this story?
- How does this story relate to you being a witness to others, and what can you learn from it that will help you live your life for Jesus—at home, in our community, and at your school?
- Have you ever had anyone bully you or be mean to you? Did you respond with anger or were you able to show kindness to them? Can you imagine what it is like to show kindness to those who are mean? How might they respond?
- Why do you think God wants us to do to others as we would want them to do to us (Luke 6:31)? And why do you think Jesus commanded His followers to love their enemies (Matthew 5:46)? Do you think you could possibly love an enemy?
- God’s design was to send Jesus to earth to live and die for us, so we could be forgiven for our sins and have a personal relationship with Him. God’s design was also that Jesus would rise from the dead, appear before His followers, then return to heaven and send the Holy Spirit to earth in return. The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to give us comfort and boldness. Would you like to have the “power” or boldness of the Holy Spirit, so you could tell everyone about Jesus?
- Let’s pray that God will help you and me to show kindness to others, even our enemies. Would you like to also pray that God would fill you with His Spirit, so you could have the boldness to live for Him and to tell others about Him? Do you have anything else you’d like to pray about?