Once upon a time, in a little church in the vale, there was a typical little boy and his younger sister. When his mother wasn't looking, he would pull his sister's hair, pinch her in the arm, and punch her in the ribs. When she cried, she was scolded her for whining. When the mother stopped looking, the brother would begin the process all over again.
However, as the minister's wife in that little church in the vale, and a good friend of the mother of this particular brother/sister pair, I had been a witness to this brother's bullying for quite a while.
Then, after a particularly harsh hair tug, sister had had enough. With all her strength, she doubled her little fist and socked her brother in the jaw. He screamed his pain and she smiled her satisfaction. Mom immediately began scolding the sister for hitting brother. Now sister was the one crying and brother began smiling.
That's when I knew, no matter what the consequences, I had to tell my friend the truth: Her son was not as innocent as he appeared. I knew brother would resent me, but sister would forever after look at me as her personal angel/hero. I also knew that mom might not look favorably on my interference. But the urge to tell the truth was so strong, I could not keep silent.
After I explained what I had seen countless times, she looked at her son and said, "Is this true?" Caught red-handed, he glared at me and nodded. Mom turned to her daughter and asked how long brother had been doing this. She said, "How long has he been my brother?"
Now, nearly 20 years later, we all still laugh at the situation, and thankfully, we are still great friends. (I believe, however, that sister still thinks I saved her from a childhood of brotherly bullying.)
The truth. It's a powerful thing, isn't it?
When Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem, knowing He was going to be crucified, He was met with crowds who were laying down palm branches for Him to walk on. Luke 19:37-40 tells what happened. "When He came near the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices, 'Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!'"
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"
"I tell you," He replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."
Did you catch that? Those times when we know we should speak the truth about Jesus by proclaiming Him as our Savior, those times when we neglect to praise Him for who He is and what He does, those times when we choose silence over truth — those are the times the very stones of the earth will "hear" our silence and speak for us.
I don't know about you, but no rock is going to praise God in my place. I want to speak His praises, no matter what the consequences.
What about you?
Verna Davis, author and speaker, lives in Frankton. She can be reached at Vrdspeaks@yahoo.com.