Herald Journal Columns
June 10, 2002 Herald
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Start the squirt gun peace treaties


We entertained a little boy named Phillip last week, who played with my son Bryce, and together they were a certified barrel of laughs.

First, Phillip has three sisters and could teach you a thing or two about driving girls ba-serk.

I thought my son was the king, since my daughter almost strangles him half the time ­ but Phillip is experienced in the art of driving sisters nuts.

You have to appreciate that kind of expertise, especially in a 6-year-old boy.

Then, I got the brilliant idea of arming these hooligans with new squirt guns.

Now, when I was a kid, squirt guns were these little jobs that fit into the palm of your hand. We were happy with these little pea shooters, and ended up refilling them every two minutes.

Not so, nowadays.

Have you ever strolled through the toy aisle and seen all of the "super soaker" guns? Each one holds about five gallons of water and shoots 20 feet into the air.

The boys picked out guns that made a fancy electronic shooting noise.

However, it pays to be able to read, since my daughter checked their guns, and then chose one that had a range 10 feet farther than theirs.

On the way home, the peace treaties began.

"OK. Bryce, we're a team, right?" Phillip said (he also said this later to my daughter).

"We are going to cream YOU." one said. "NO, we're going to cream YOU," the other said. They were all going to cream each other.

Of course, I made sure nobody would cream me, since I financed the venture.

By the end of the day, they were all doused from head to foot. My son had one little spot on his T-shirt that was dry.

I hid in the garden.

The (very wet, shivering, trembly) dog was hiding under the car.

I only had to fill squirt guns about five times.

To be peacemakers

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you. 'Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also."

- Matthew 5:38-39 (NRSV)

Interested? Read more about peacemaking and youth in The Upper Room, daily devotional guide for March-April 1997.

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