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butterfly net2

As a youth I would go hunting for things to capture along the shores of Wall Lake. One summer day, my buddy and I decided to take our butterfly net and see what we could catch. I caught sunfish, dragonflies, baby bullheads, frogs and even a butterfly or two.

We meandered along the water’s edge from house to cabin. At one place these loud mouth girls started harassing us. My buddy readily engaged in an insult fight. During this encounter we ended up in the yard. We decided we better leave, so we hopped the chain link fence. As I topped the fence the biggest meanest girl gave me a push. My left hand hung up in an upper link of the fence. She began beating upon me, out of desperation and fear of dying at the hand of a girl, I grabbed the butterfly net and cracked her across the forehead. She stopped and I was able to free myself and escape. When I headed out that day, I never thought of using it as a defensive weapon. It turned out to be a slap stick.

My buddy and I knew we were in trouble. We were both taught NEVER EVER HIT A GIRL. We cowered in the garage at my house. Sure enough, the neighbor came staggering down to our house. He was drunk and loud and obnoxious. He yelled at my dad a bit and left. My dad, in turn, yelled for me and my buddy. We knew without a doubt that death or something like it awaited us.

“You better tell me what happened.” He listened to our story, made a comment or two about how disappointed he was in us. He made a couple more comments about the neighbor’s inebriated condition and let us go. We were dumbstruck.

I remember how afraid we were of facing my father’s wrath. I had not kept my dad’s rule. He had let me off the hook, but I never hit another girl in my life. Offending my Heavenly Father is even worse until I repent. Living in fear of His wrath feels much like cowering in the garage waiting to face my dad’s wrath.

I am learning that it is much better to react correctly before becoming a problem to others and God.

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff