My Denali had to be serviced so Emma had picked me up and we lived on a one way street which was only one block from the kids school. Well , it just so happened on this day we finished and were heading through town at around three o'clock. We decided, at the last minute, to drive by the house and then up Mitchell Ave. It was completely random timing, we were going to one more location and then back home in an hour or so, however, as we passed a group of kids, I see 3 boys over 1 boy, they have pinned on the ground . Well, instantly I get fired up, just because the child on the ground is out numbered and then I yell, "Stop!" I have never been able to watch when there is one person at a great disadvantage. The boys all seemed about the same age, but of the three they all looked bigger than the boy on the ground. But suddenly I had a sick feeling come over me, the kind of dreadful sadness you come to in a moment when your mind begins trying to tell you there is much more that you need to understand than you are willing to accept. At that moment I recognized the shirt, it is Wyatt! Emma slams on the brakes, jerks her Audi in gear and yells, "GET OFF HIM!!!" Wyatt jumps up, scampers for his glasses, and says, "Oh don't worry Emma and Mom we were playing around". And takes off almost running toward the house. Well the little boy said some profanity and said, "Dude, no, we were not playing around", and by this time Emma had him by the shirt and my head was racing with all kinds of thoughts, but the main one was, Emma is 18 and these are just kids, if she decks one, she will go to jail!. Well, then, one of the boys Mothers pulls up and Emma said, "Mam you better tell your son and his friends to leave my brother alone!" She said, "Well, I would suggest you stay out of it, its not really a big deal". Emma said, "Well I think 3 to 1 is a big deal, I tell you what, they touch him again, I'll show YOU what a big deal it is!! Cowards!!!" Thank goodness the woman left and didn't take Emma up on the offer, because, Emma is not the kind to back down. So as we rode to get my truck we went over a million different scenarios in our minds, thinking of every sign we may have missed. I just couldn't think of any. When I got home I spoke to Wyatt and he still said they were just playing around, but I could sense a deep humiliation and embarrassment. Wyatt is very private, very proud, even as a boy he was a grown up. But, in that conversation he opened up and started asking me about the clothes and shoes he had. Why did he have so many tennis shoes. Why did he have shirts with that moose on them. (Abercrombie & Fitch) I always got the kids clothes out the night before and I had noticed Wyatt, had started wearing the same sneakers everyday and he had started wearing solid t-shirts, ones I had gotten him for gym class. You see this was a new school district for us we had been in a little school for 6 years, actually the same one Emma went to. When we moved to our 6th Avenue house, it was a much broader and more diverse group of children. So I just dressed the kids the same way I had before. And there again, you think as a parent, you have all the answers, if they have the nicest clothes, the latest tennis shoes, the best back-packs, no troubles will come their way. Well at this new school, I had actually created trouble for Wyatt. Not only was he the new kid, he was the new kid that stuck out. And if you knew Wyatt, you'd know, he couldn't care less. So Emma took him to eat and he told her it had been happening for most of the year. This group of boys, out of their own sadness and lack of having things, had singled Wyatt out, and to take the attention off what they didn't have, they had been humiliating Wyatt. So Emma told Wyatt that those boys didn't have a family like he had to teach them to be good to other people and how to treat other kids, but he couldn't stop wearing what Mom had bought him either, just because those boys were the way they were. And she would be glad to kick their butts!!!! But we saw a sadness come over Wyatt and a depression that year, that broke our heart, we FELT helpless. Wyatt had always been so quiet, so introverted. We never knew what he was really thinking. He thinks on things for weeks and weeks and suddenly he blurts out some extraordinary statement that is way beyond his years. He, also, so loved friendship, and held it so dear to his heart, and he was a true and loyal friend, he to this day has never spoken of those boys. He brought that sadness to North Carolina with him. What is so funny, I say funny, I guess for lack of a better word, is I had prayed that somehow God would make a way that the kids would not have to return to that school. Never did I think I would have to lose my home or leave the state of Florida to do it!. A scholarship to North Florida Christian would have worked! As people would meet Wyatt they would say, he just seem so sad, and it would just rip my heart out, I will tell you, I have not wanted to write this post because I knew it was going to be very emotional. I knew he was, Kenny knew he was, but we just could not seem to get free from it. He needed God to touch him. We didn't know what was the root of what was going on inside him, but it just seemed to be slowly bleeding the joy and happiness out of him. Bitterness had started in Wyatt and the sadness and the loneliness, all those things, no one, no pediatrician, no medication, no book, no special diet, NO ONE, was going to be able to help him, he needed a touch from God. Well, we had been attending a local, North Carolina Church and had some unforgettable moments at this Church, and even the Pastor had made the statement that sadness seemed to surround Wyatt. I wanted to jack him! That means deck him!! One Wednesday night, after my class had let out, I slipped in the back of the youth service and the children's church Pastor was filling in for the youth Pastor, he was a wonderful man named Mike and he and his wife, Becky, are extremely sincere and good people. He was closing the service and he asked if anyone felt all alone and needed God to touch them and Wyatt, YES WYATT, raised his hand, and Pastor Mike went to him and just started praying over Wyatt and saying things that were exactly what Wyatt had been through, and a flood of tears came down that boys face and I felt pain so deep in my heart I thought I would die. All I could do was feel immense gratitude and thankfulness and utter amazement that here, in Clyde North Carolina, my son was having a moment of great healing from a past hurt almost 3 years removed. Nothing we had tried worked, NOTHING, all it took was the willingness of that 12 year old boy to surrender his heart to God and say, "God I don't want the sadness, I don't want the bitterness, take it, take it all". And I also realized, it didn't matter if he said all the right words, he didn't have to know all the right theology, it was simply a matter of his heart reaching out to God in a moment of immense honesty and trust. Even now, as I write, I weep, God help me, for the first time in years, on the ride home, Wyatt laughed!, He laughed! It wasn't long before he was even belly laughing! He always tried to laugh, always wanted to laugh, but it was as though his internal war was just far too hopeless. What God can do if only we are willing to say, "God take it, take it all, I can't fix it myself, only you can repair the deep recesses of our heart that no ones sees, only you can fix the wounds so deep no one knows they are there, God only YOU". The truth of it? That twelve year old boy, with the spirit of a fifty year old man, reminded me of something I would desperately need over the next two years!