Friday, Principal Bradley arranged a special assembly to have Remmy and Sophia talk about their archaeological finds and some of their experiences abroad. Remmy walked all around the auditorium, alternately terrifying kids and getting them spluttering with laughter. He had so many stories and so many weird artifacts. He showed them a full five scroll cases hidden in a very ordinary, though very long and deadly-looking lance, which became the scariest part of the whole assembly when he hauled off and threw it over dozens of heads and stuck it in the far wall, where it hung quivering.
“Who’s going to search a soldier for copies of the forbidden Scriptures when he’s got that thing in his hand?” Remmy thundered. “Nobody. Many, many Roman soldiers accepted Christ. Whole legions. Many helped preserve the Word and spread it during horrifying persecutions. Many were martyred for their faith.”
“But isn’t it bad to lie to people?” a young student asked. “You said they hid the Bible in that – spear thing. Wasn’t that lying?”
“My child, come here,” Remmy invited, sitting down on the steps to the platform. The boy didn’t move at first, wide-eyed, probably wondering if the huge, hairy man had more violence in him. After a moment Keith got up and walked over to the boy.
“Doctor Remaliah spent the whole night at my house last night, Den,” Keith said, holding out a hand to the boy. “He won’t hurt you. C’mon.”
Den looked up at Keith. He could swear he saw, ‘Well, yeah, because you’re big,’ written all over the boy’s face, but at last he put his small hand in Keith’s and allowed him to lead him to the steps. Remmy laid his hand on the boy’s head.
“Do you have a sister, my little man?” he asked.
“I have five sisters,” Den said, and heaved a huge sigh.
“Oh, well, then, perhaps this is not a good question to ask you. I may need to find someone else.”
Suddenly Den seemed to find he wasn’t so afraid of the big man who could stick a spear in the gym wall. “You’re not going to find anybody who has more sisters than me,” he protested.
“I am certain that is true!” Remmy laughed. “Well, then, suppose a bad man came to your house and said, ‘Where are your sisters? I want to kill them’. Would you tell him where they are?”
“No. I would tell them to run and hide.” Den puffed out his little chest and clenched his fists.
“Oh, so you would lie to this man? But you just told me lying is bad.”
“Well … well … but he’s bad.”
“Oh, I see. But what if he didn’t seem like such a very bad man? What if he said, ‘You have too many sisters. Give me four of them. I will only kill them, and let the other one alone’?”
Den shook his head violently.
“Then how many of your sisters would you give up? You have so many.”
“He can’t kill any of my sisters,” Den insisted. “I take karate. I would fight him.”
“Why is that, my brave little karate student?”
“I love them,” Den replied.
Remmy walked over to the spear, yanked it out of the wall, and carried it back over to where Keith and Den stood by the steps. He twisted the spear and drew out the papers rolled up inside. “These are my sisters,” he said fervently. “They are my brothers. They are my mother and my father. I love them. The bad men cannot have them. I will lie to them, and I will fight them, and I will die, to save what I love. Do you understand now?”
Den stared at him with huge, solemn eyes. “But it’s just papers,” he said in a little voice.
“Not just papers,” Remmy said. “It is the Word of God. It is truth, love, peace, power – it is the Voice of One who made all things, loved us, died for us, and calls out to us to come to Him.”
Oh,” the little boy breathed. “I didn’t know they were such important papers.”
Remmy tousled the boy’s hair, and Keith took him back to his seat.
As Keith approached the highschoolers, he saw students begin to rise out of their seats, ten, twenty – forty-five strong, the entire Bible as Literature class stood up and started to clap. Then they were cheering, jumping, screaming.
“Yeah! It’s the Word!” They started to chant, something Talia had been repeating in class to teach them the attributes believers were supposed to have to emulate God’s Word.
“Not everybody’s gonna read the Word themselves,” she had exclaimed. “You have to be the Word, so they can see how much they need it. You have to be truth, power, purity, love! Truth, power, purity, love!”
Every voice repeated those words, three times, loud and proud, Keith thought with a grin. Fist pumps and chest bumps broke out around the section. “God’s Word rocks!” they screamed, and quickly sat down.