"An army of people praying"

He never dreamed it would lead to this. It had started out with little things, like joining his friends in a few acts of meanness. And like heckling the new Asian students on the school bus and refusing to let them have a seat. There hadn't been any violence—just the hurt feelings that people naturally have when other people degrade them and treat them like a subclass.

Of course, deep down he'd never felt very comfortable about treating the Asian kids this way. For one thing, he knew it wasn't consistent with what he'd learned in Sunday School about how all people are actually God's children—wherever in the world they may live and however they talk. God, whose affection for all His sons and daughters is so constant that it never begins and never ends, loves without asking questions, without setting out conditions. No matter how tall or short people are, what kind of tennis shoes they wear, whether they're "cool" or not—God loves them.

In other words, Duane knew in his heart that God loved the very kids he and his friends were hassling. And if God loved these kids, it was absolutely unnatural for him—contrary to his true nature as the child of God—to feel anything but compassion and caring for them. They were really a lot more than new fellow classmates who'd been dropped into his comfortable California lifestyle without warning. They were —in God's sight—his brothers and sisters. All this Duane knew. But, the fact was, it was hard to stand up to his friends. It was hard to be courageous.

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Desire and the Seventh Commandment
October 18, 1993

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