THE YELLOW JACKETS
Bullies Hell-Bent on Hate
Chapter One "Indictment"
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked;
who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
What a horrific
commotion! Chanting and foot-stomping in the back rows, rippling
like a contagious rash through the pulsating mass of fidgety teenagers.
Gum and candy wrappers wadded up and thrown by slouching youths
with comatose faces. All the frazzled principal could do was stare
down at his podium and shake his head helplessly.
Coach Ed Miller was seated in the front row. Seeing Mr. Tysons
plight, the massive athlete bounded onto the stage to restore order.
Noticeably peeved, he shouted into the microphone: Yall
hush up now, or well cancel the pep rally and let the Red
A ripple of silence spread all around the auditorium. Coach Miller
was the only adult on campus who could command any semblance of
respect. One look at his square-jawed frown let the kids know he
meant business. They didnt want to fall out of the good graces
of their football hero.
Thanks, Ed, whimpered the relieved principal.
The coachs growl was low and menacing: Dont mess
with me. She was kin to me. Say it or else!
Mr. Tysons buckling knees could barely support him. He cleared
his throat, staring above the heads of the snickering students,
many of whom reclined languidly in their seats, taking in the pathetic
scene with brazen smirks on their impudent faces.
If only his introductory statement had been dumbed down for his
asinine audience. Maybe he would have drawn a more enthusiastic
Weakly he began: As you all know, a great tragedy has just
struck our school.
Coarse, ribald laughter rocked the assembly hall. Mr. Tysons
plea for calm only made it worse.
SHUT UP! bellowed Coach Miller, supporting the principal
around the shoulders. Please continue, Mr. Tyson. Dont
you pay those idiots no mind.
Knowing that he had the backing of the popular coach, the principal
gave him a feeble smile of thanks, and resumed his lecture. Ahem!
Betty Bigelow, a sophomore, passed away two days ago. Cause of death
was diagnosed as suicide. Apparently she fell two stories from the
top of the science building. She suffered massive internal injuries
and numerous fractures. She died in intensive care three hours after
being admitted to the hospital. Only through...ahem!...her faith
in a higher power did she find a peace in death which
shed never found in life. Mr. Tysons heart was
palpitating wildly. Had he finally strayed beyond the sacrosanct
boundaries of Political Correctness?
The principal peered down at his prepared statement. To heck with
what the coach thinks, he thought. Id better mollify my position
a bit. Im already in big trouble for violating the Separation
of Church and State.With his next words, his timid voice rose in
pitch and cracked: Ah...why didnt Betty Bigelow achieve
peace in her day-to-day life? Nobody will ever solve that enigma.
Coach Miller knew waffling when he heard it. Give me that
mike! he demanded. Ill tell em why, if you aint
got the guts to do it!
The assembly held its collective breath. This just might be interesting.
It was evident to everyone that the coach was in a grumpy mood.
Now hear this! he roared, pointing toward a cluttered
aisle, strewn with wadded litter. Im sick and tired
of this sorry bunch, always throwin their garbage around,
like this was a hogpen! Yall are just a herd of cows chewin
YOU! he roared at Ray Huxton, captain of the football
squad. Git that gum outa your mouth, boy! If I EVER see you
chewin gum in assembly again, Im bustin you down
to water boy!
The crowd loved it. The former drill sergeant was one tough dude,
a pillar of power. Grudgingly Ray removed his gum and stuck it under
The coach shook his head. Aint no discipline in schools
no more. Used to be, my daddy said, a kid could git ten licks with
the Board of Education just for chewin gum in class.
Hey, Coach! called a lanky boy reclining in the second
row. How big did you say the holes in them paddles was?
Once the din died down, the coach replied: Big enough to burn
up your britches, boy!
He felt a tug at his wrist. Ed, whispered Mr. Tyson,
why the comedy routine? Stick to your topic, please.
Mr. Tyson, please go sit down. Im big enough to finish
my speech by myself.
Once the principal was seated, Coach Miller said: Mr. Tyson
seems to think Ive forgotten my reason for bein up here.
But my point is this: Nowadays, nobody worries much about
litter in the aisles or gum chewin anymore. After all, why
sweat small stuff like that when theres bigger crimes out
there to call the cops on?
Those words drew a variety of whispered responses, and many looks
As you all know, I grew up on a cattle ranch in West Texas.
I remember there was an old outhouse on our spread.
Pandemonium broke out. Mr. Tyson looked sick. Cut it out!
bellowed Coach Miller. Im tryin to teach yall
The hellacious din finally subsided enough for the coach to continue.
Well, anyhow, that outhouse was there for the benefit of the
ranch hands. After a while, we got modern facilities installed in
the bunkhouse. One day, old Jake wanted to save himself a few steps
and went back into the old mens room. But he came a-flyin
out of that place, a-hollerin like he was on fire. Wasps were
a-chasin him, and he got bit real bad. After that, nobody
ever wanted to use it again.
The students were in a very merry mood now. Their sides ached, they
laughed so hard. The thunderstruck principal was much too stunned
to question the coachs train of thought. Once the latest laugh
fest died down, the coach resumed his discourse.
We knew that privy was a magnet for every hornet in the county,
but we never did tear it down and fill in...ahem! he caught
himself, fearing hed gone too far over the edge of good taste.
It was some moments before he could pick up where he left off, the
din was so deafening. The vice principal turned to Mr. Tyson. What
an idiot, Clarence. It doesnt take many brains to gain rapport
with those kind of kids.
You should give Ed more credit, Jim, stammered Mr. Tyson,
eyeing the stage nervously. His methods are a bit unorthodox,
but I believe hes trying to build bridges of goodwill to help
everyone put this tragedy behind them and go on.
Indeed, the kids were in a buoyant mood now. Theyd always
loathed assemblies before. Usually, they were dry, dull affairs,
presided over by starchy characters with deadpan faces. But now
they were savoring every word. Hey, coach, inquired
the loudmouth in the second row, whered he git bit?
Never you mind! scolded Coach Miller. Now you
listen here, boy, Im dead serious. Lamebrains that we were,
we just left that thing sit there. We didnt even bother to
spray the wasps nests. We were just too chicken to open the
door... he was drowned out. My, but he was connecting.
At last the clamor calmed, and he could drive home his punch line.
Theres always a price to pay for failin to clean
out the wasp nests of life. One day, one of our newborn calves wandered
away from its mama. It was a frisky little critter, and didnt
think where it was goin. It just liked to run free.
Anyhow, it ran smack dab into that old outhouse and shook the daylights
out of it. Well, those old wasps inside of it were in an ornery
mood that day. They got all riled up. They all lit out after that
poor little calf and chased him clear across the cow pasture.
Now anybodys got sense enough to steer clear of barbed
wire. But when YELLOW JACKETS are chasin you, you go crazy
and cant see where youre runnin to!
At the mention of the team name, an angry buzzing swept through
the auditorium. Maybe this wouldnt be such a fun assembly
Light Amid Shadows
shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no
more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any
more pain: for the former things have passed away (Revelation 21:4).
A Minister Faces Some Difficult Questions.
The overwrought father released a floodgate of tears. Oh,
I KNOW she wouldnt, but I wish shed come back to those
who love her!
Reverend Hawthorne continued: Jesus did raise a man from the
dead, Mr. Bigelow. His name was Lazarus. Hed been in his grave
four days. His sisters pleaded with Christ to restore Lazarus to
them. He did this for them to demonstrate Gods power over
death itself, and His love to the people.
The shortest verse in the Bible is also one of the most mysterious:
Jesus wept. Why did He weep, Mr. Bigelow, if He knew
He would be able to raise His beloved friend from the dead?
Oh, I dont know, preacher, you tell me, the poor
Now this is strictly my own opinion, Mr. Bigelow. Lazarus
was, prior to his resurrection, resting in the Paradise of the Righteous
with all the saints whod gone on before him. He was finally
free of the sickness which killed him. No longer was he beset by
Jesus knew that Lazarus would be raised; not to immortality,
but to continue life in an imperfect mortal body. It was not yet
Gods chosen time to bestow incorruptible bodies upon the righteous
dead. Lazarus would have to die again someday. In all likelihood
he would face persecution, maybe even martyrdom, for Jesus
Lazarus was reunited with friends and family who loved him.
But he was also reunited with enemies who didnt love him or
his Savior_the self-righteous religious leaders of the Jewish nation,
who would later conspire to have Jesus crucified. As news spread
of Christs power to raise the dead, people believed in Him
more and more. After all, Lazarus was walking, talking evidence
of Christs own divinity. The religious rulers plotted to put
not only our Lord to death to silence His ministry, but Lazarus
Sighing, Mr. Bigelow conceded, Shes better off where
she is. Nobody can hurt her ever again. Ive got to make peace
with that somehow. Ive got to go on, whether I like it or
not. Ive got a cause to devote my life to now. A hopeless
one, though, he added bitterly.
Reverend Hawthorne had dealt with plenty of grief throughout his
long ministry. but the story behind this grief was one of the most
tragic hed ever encountered.
Compassionately, yet emphatically, he encouraged the heartbroken
father: A righteous cause might seem to be already lost and
those who fight for it few, but take heart. THE GOD OF SCRIPTURE
IS THE GOD OF LOST CAUSES.
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