Creative Work


Ralph Carelli

First day of high school,
everyone’s making plans.
His clothes were not in style
nor the Bible in his hands.

He didn’t quite fit in.
We saw an easy target.
We saw the bull’s-eye on his life,
and everyone would mark it.

Though a shot was never fired
nor an arrow ever drawn,
our words would cut him down,
though we knew that it was wrong.

One day he shouted toward us,
this labeled Jesus freak.
We were cursing God before him;
we had done this every week.

“Your anger toward me means nothing.
You fear the God inside of me.
Why are you all so afraid
of someone you can’t see?”

Our laughter turned to silence
as he turned and walked away.
A lesson he had taught me
through his courage and his faith.

You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.
James 2:22 (NIV)

Years later I saw his face
in my hometown daily news.
He’d given up his life to save
a woman in a burning room.

Years before giving my heart to God,
how I wish that I had known
this boy I knew in high school
would end up saving my mom.


JOURNAL: Write about someone in your school who acted on his or her faith and taught you about God.

—from devozine (November/December 2015). Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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