Scaredy-cats vs. the witch

I had become a Christ follower about six months before and had found new friends at my university’s campus ministry. This was years ago.

Any major university has its local non-celebrities, and one on our campus was “Brother Cope” as he was known or “Bro Co when you said it fast. He was a street preacher, a shouting, hell-fire, bickering kind of preacher who daily yelled the not-so-good-news from his freedom-of-speech-won perch on a raised stone wall outside the business building. As a business student, I passed him most days on my way to and from class.

There at his feet students would gather, a mix of hecklers and innocent bystanders and meek new Christians like me. I didn’t know enough about my new faith to know whether what he had to say was right or wrong, but I was amazed at the spectacle of it all.

There was an ongoing feud between Bro Co and a particular student, a self-professed witch who followed the Wiccan religion. She was as feisty and loud as Bro Co, and he yelled things like “harlot” and “judgment” while she spat back her own venom and I was wide-eyed and nervous about the whole thing.

The university library was the size of a small town, and there were rooms upon rooms to find a quiet place to study. One day, a friend and I made our way to an obscure research room to study. There were about 20 tables — small enough for two people each — in a square pattern around the room. The tables were nearly all occupied, but we found one and opened our books.

And that’s when we noticed the witch. She was studying at one of the tables across the room.

“We should give her a tract,” said my friend. (A tract is a mini-brochure telling stories of faith and inviting people to know Jesus.)

“No way,” I said. I wasn’t comfortable giving anything to this person. She was a force to be reckoned with. But my friend insisted.

We waited until she got up from her spot and was out of view behind some bookshelves. My friend snuck over there and placed the tract on her books. Then we hunkered down to watch what would happen next.

And what happened next scared the daylights out of both of us.

In the quiet room in the quiet corner of the quiet library, the girl began shouting, waving the tract in the air.

“Who did this!!!” she yelled to the room.

We looked up, looked down, and pretended to ignore the outburst.

“Who DID THIS???” she repeated, a little louder this time. Then she took the tract and marched from one table to the next, demanding, “DID YOU DO THIS??” She made her way around the circumference of the room, stopping at every table.

We were quaking. I was so scared. I was sure she would shake that tract in our face, demand an answer, we wouldn’t be able to lie well enough, and then I figured she’d beat us up. Or more likely, humiliate us.

On she stomped. One table. The next. The next. Closer. Ours was next.

And then she walked right past us. It seemed like she didn’t even see us.

She went to the table behind ours, demanding, “DID YOU DO THIS??”

She never spoke to us.

I think God made us invisible. Or something. I don’t care how He did it, actually. But I knew He protected us, the little scaredy-cat, new believer baby Christians.


*This article was originally written/published by the author under the title “Scared Baby Christian.”

First published at

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