Dis-cern-ment\ noun. 1: The quality of detecting with senses other than vision; 2: DISCRIMINATE (~ right from wrong) 3: Skill of perception of good or evil 4: Insight that goes beyond what is obvious or superficial 5: To see the scorn beneath smiling eyes. 6: A gut feeling       

My parents rented two rooms upstairs in a tired house on Kemper Lane.   While Daddy worked Mommy and I played, walked to Peeple’s Corner, and fed the ducks at Eden Park. She laughed when I patted her belly and asked, “Watermelon?"

Six months later my baby brother was born.




Maybe that was why Mommy wouldn't let me out of her sight. I begged her to let me play paper dolls with the landlord’s daughter.  Finally, she let me go downstairs to play with Melinda. While we were playing I felt the hair on my arms and neck raise.  I sensed that someone was watching us behind the curtain that separated the parlor from the dining room.  Melinda nonchalantly waved her hand and said it was just her creepy, older brother snooping on us.


 One summer day while mommy fed my brother outside on a quilt I got hot and jumped up to explore.  I walked around the yard and ended up at the open door of the detached garage .  The dark, coolness lured me inside to look around.  After my eyes adjusted I saw two saw horses and lots of dusty tools.  The harsh odor of dirt and gasoline made me turn around to leave but Melinda’s brother blocked the way  ... I froze like the statue in Fountain Square.


He gave me a crooked grin and told me to sit on a sawhorse. He said he wanted to show me a magic trick.  Reluctantly, I obeyed.  On the other end of my sawhorse he sat down facing me.  Between his fingers he held up a shiny copper penny.


“I need for you to help me make this penny disappear.” His smile gave me chills.  Even at the age of four I knew something was not right.

“I'm going to drop this magic penny down your shirt and it will disappear. Are you ready?” Not waiting for me to answer he leaned over and dropped the penny down my shirt. I felt it go down my chest and out the bottom.  He showed his empty hands and proclaimed, "The penny's gone!"

"It’s on the floor!” I said, looking down and pointing to it with my foot.


 With disappointment he picked it up and blew off the dirt. "No problem, I'll try again.”  This time he pretended to drop it down my shirt but I never felt it go down. 


“The penny's gone!" He showed me his empty hands again.  Before I knew it he scooted closer to me until his knees touched mine. “I think the penny went down into your shorts. I need to find my penny, Kathy."


Just as he reached for my shorts I heard Mommy call me. “Kathy, where are you? Get back here right now!”

Melinda’s brother jumped backwards off the saw horse.  Out the garage and down the drive way he ran.  Within a second my mother appeared in the garage doorway holding my brother.  I slumped with a sigh of relief.

 “Kathy, what was that boy doing in here with you?”


 “He was showing me a magic trick with a penny, Mommy."


When I told her about the details of the magic trick we moved away.



Share if you or someone you know has experienced discernment in a time of danger? I was glad my mother discerned that something bad was happening and called my name. When I was too afraid to answer she searched for me. Thank you God for a discerning mother who listened to You. 


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