Gary and Goliath
    Footnotes

    “Gary and Goliath,” Friend, February 2019

    Gary and Goliath

    “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers” (1 Timothy 4:12).

    a boy holding a slingshot and looking at a store sign

    Illustration by Bryan Beach

    I glanced out the car window. The sign was still there. Right outside our neighborhood, there was a store with a giant picture of someone without many clothes on. I didn’t want to see it.

    Mom looked at me in the rearview mirror. “Just don’t look at it, Gary.”

    I turned my head. “I try not to, but it’s hard when we have to drive by it almost every day.”

    “I know,” Mom said. “We can’t choose what pictures other people put up, but we can choose not to look at them.”

    “I wish it wasn’t there at all.”

    “Me too.”

    I didn’t like seeing bad pictures in my town. To make things worse, there was another bad picture in a store window right by our church building! I hated seeing that right before going into church. I didn’t like the way it made me feel. I also didn’t like thinking about my three younger brothers seeing things like that.

    Maybe there was something I could do about it.

    “Hey, Mom, do you think if I wrote them a letter they would take it down?”

    “I don’t know,” Mom said. “But I think it’s a great idea to try.”

    I nodded. “Will you help me look up that store’s address when we get home?”

    “Of course.”

    That night, I sat down at the kitchen table with a notebook. My plan was to write two letters, one to each of the stores that had the bad pictures in their windows.

    I stared at the blank paper. What could I say? For a minute, I thought about one of my favorite scripture stories, David and Goliath. I felt like David. I was just a kid. Would they even listen to me?

    But David had something going for him that Goliath didn’t. He had help from Heavenly Father! That’s what I needed. I bowed my head and said a prayer to know what to write.

    Then I started writing.

    I tried to be polite and respectful. I wanted to make sure they knew how I felt every time I saw those pictures. I told them how much I didn’t want my little brothers to see them either. I said that I wished they could find something else to put in their window. When I finished writing the letters, I had a good feeling inside.

    “What do you think, Dad?” I asked. Dad read through my letters and nodded.

    “These are great! I wouldn’t change a thing.”

    So I put them in envelopes and dropped them in the mailbox.

    “I guess now we wait,” I said. My family and I prayed that Heavenly Father would take things from there. We trusted that if it was His will, something would happen.

    For a while, nothing happened. Then one day, Mom and Dad said they had something to show us. We all piled into the car and drove to the first store. The picture was gone!

    “You were so brave to write those letters, and look what happened!” Mom said.

    “They took it down!” I shouted.

    I said another prayer right then in the car, thanking Heavenly Father for His help. And then we got even more good news.

    When we drove to church that Sunday, we saw that the other store had taken their bad picture down too. I couldn’t believe it. I was so grateful Heavenly Father had answered our prayers. When we do our best to keep our minds pure, God will help us. ●