Fifth Grade Guardians Protect a Friend

Guard me as if I were the pupil in your eye. Hide me in the shadow of your wings. Hide me from wicked people who violently attack me, from my deadly enemies who surround me. Psalm 17:8-9

Like a shepherd he takes care of his flock. He gathers the lambs in his arms. He carries them in his arms.He gently helps the sheep and their lambs. Isaiah 40:11

One of my favorite qualities of the Lord is His hand of protection, how He pays attention to our days and charges warrior-guardians to keep us safe from harm (Ps 91:11, Mt 18:10, Ps 34:7, etc.). He truly is the Great Shepherd, gathering His lambs in his arms – a bulwark never (ever) failing.

So, when I see little glimpses of this heart of protection being played out on earth, it always gets my attention.

That’s why I love the boys of “The James Gang” from Franklin Elementary School in Mankato, Minnesota. They are Gus, Tyler, Landon, Jake and Jack, five friends of James Willmert, a learning-disabled boy who was adopted from an orphanage in Columbia. And, as if the odds weren’t already against him, James lost his adoptive father to an accident six years after arriving in America.


The James Gang of Mankato, Minnesota. James is fourth from left.

So, when the five guardians noticed that James was being bullied at recess, they made a pact to do something about it. And they did. They took up James’ cause, protected him from harm, and even pitched in with their own money to buy him a PlayStation.

“He used to not want to go out for recess or anything, it would be like a struggle,” James’ mom said. “And now he can barely eat his lunch to get outside to play with those guys.”

And in Heaven, smiles all around.

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