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Stand Firm

2. What’s Inside?


At the end of the school day, Larry waited outside the school building for his sister, Lisa, and a few of his friends. Larry did not want to walk home by himself that day, not that he did very much anyway.


Lisa walked up to Larry and said, “Larry, did you know that Annabelle is one of Herc’s cousins?”


Larry responded, “Really? Annabelle is really sweet. I wonder how she got in the same family with Herc.”


Lisa said, “I had a conversation with Annabelle today. It was very interesting.”


Larry asked, “Did you talk about Herc? “


Lisa answered, “Actually, we did. I just asked Annabelle if she knew anything about Herc. I told her that it seemed like he was giving you kind of a hard time.“


Larry said, “Herc does seem to be a grumpy guy, but I’m wondering if there might be something that’s causing him to not be very friendly. Even just having a name like that can make a person act mean.”


Lisa said, “Annabelle told me that Herc actually does have a regular name. Actually, quite a few names. His family calls him ‘Herc’ because his real name is Herbert Eugene Reginald Cunningham, the fourth. His family is from England. A lot of people in that country have four names like Herc. And since Herc has three people in his family with the same name as him, each person has their own nickname. His family decided to call him ‘Herc’, which are his initials. I don’t think they were expecting people to think of him as being a big, powerful person like Hercules, but it is easy to think like that.”


Larry said, “That’s very interesting. Thank you for letting me know. There still seems to be a thought in my mind that Herc isn’t really telling us the whole story about his summer.”


Lisa responded, “Larry, you got that right! When Herc was younger, his family would often take trips over to England to visit some of their family. More recently, they have not gone to England. Also, Herc’s father seems to be very busy, and doesn’t seem to have much time to spend with his son. And Herc doesn’t have any brothers or sisters.“


Larry said, “That is very sad. I can’t even imagine what it must be like for Herc.”


Charlie overheard a little bit of the conversation between Larry and Lisa.


Charlie said, “I guess we need to be more careful about judging people. I never would have guessed that he had such a difficult life. And he doesn’t seem to want to make friends. I wonder how that happened.”


Larry said, “I think God is asking us to reach out to Herc and try to get him to feel like he can fit in, that is, if he really wants to.”


Lisa said, “Annabelle told me that Herc was a very friendly and fun-loving guy when he was younger. So, I think we should ask God to help us to figure out how to reach the ‘Herc that is on the inside’.”




When Larry and Lisa arrived at their house, they mentioned to their mom that they would like to pray for Herc. Their mom said that they would pray for Herc with their dad after dinner that night.

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