Summary: Cities of Refuge - a picture of Christ
Cities of Refuge
I wonder did any of you ever get into a fight in your childhood days? Most kids have a skirmish or two when they are growing up and I have to say, growing up in Belfast, I was no exception. I remember one occasion when I was coming home from school after staying behind for games, it was near tea-time and most other kids of course had been home for a while and had changed out of their uniform and were hanging about the streets, and a couple of blocks away from where I lived I ran into a group of fellas from a rival neighbourhood gang/clique who went to a different school from me. As I walked along the footpath on the other side of the road from them they started to shout abuse at me and instead of ignoring them and walking on big mouth Robb of course had to give them some lip back, because I didn’t want them to think that I was afraid of them; although if the truth be told I was trembling inside because there was four or five of them and a couple of them were bigger than me. Well the two-way abuse continued as I walked along one side of the street and they walked along the other. Then the next thing I knew was I was hit with a stone which one of them had obviously thrown at me. Now the smart thing to do in such circumstances of course is to get offside as quick as possible, get the old guddies going and run for your life. The problem was that I wasn’t too smart in those days and wasn’t in the habit of stopping and giving rational consideration to such situations and on the basis of a reasoned and considered decision taking the best and most sensible course of action. Instead, in a fit of temper I picked up several stones of the ground, the biggest ones I could find, of which there were plenty around our neighbourhood in the early seventies and I started to fire these back at these guys at which stage they of course decided to wage an all out war and charged towards me. Now its one thing being brave when you are at the other side of the street maybe about 50 yards away from your rivals, but when four of them come charging at you and you are on your own common sense and I have to admit stomach churning fear start to send urgent messages to your brain ‘RUN LIKE MAD’ and being one who takes such messages quite seriously and realising that I was in big trouble if I didn’t do what my brain was telling me to do I was in big trouble, I started running for my life. Thankfully I was quite a fast runner in those days and although they gave hot pursuit and didn’t give up chasing me until I was home I managed to stay ahead of them. I can tell you it was some relief to turn the corner into my own street and even more of a relief to see my front door open so that I could run into the house screaming for help, at which stage of course my pursuers gave up the chase. They did of course shout abuse and threaten to get me when I came out, but of course I wasn’t for going out. I was safe in my house and there was no way I was leaving it. I can tell you I was glad to see 41 Imperial Street that day. It was my place of safety, my refuge from my pursuers.