Devils Beware

Teena Myers

Betty was praying for a place to rent in the inner city and start a church when a doctor gave her a triplex in a neighborhood the police refused to enter alone. Two weeks after she moved in gunshots, screaming and sirens abruptly awoke her. She found three-inch bullets on the floor and in her walls. Four teenagers lay dead on the corner, a fifth boy badly wounded.

Fear that she had missed the will of God gripped her. She prayed, “Did you call me to this dangerous place?”

Betty heard a voice say, “Did you get shot?”

“No,” she said.

“Those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

Betty stayed to fulfill her calling amid a gang war that raged for months. She abandoned her plan to start a church when malnourished, filthy, broken kids started knocking on her door. “Mama B, you’ve got to help us,” they pleaded. Soon she was cooking for twenty people in crock pots. Then it entered her heart to anoint her neighborhood with oil and pray.

She walked the streets, anointing everything with oil, but the bottle quickly ran dry. The next day, she carried a bucket of oil, which proved cumbersome. A friend saw her predicament and gave her a super-soaker with a backpack. Betty filled the backpack with oil and water, put on her multicolored straw hat, and walked to the corner where the young men had died.

A local gang leader saw her. “Reverend, you got oil in that thing?”

“Yeah, and it’ll shoot fifty feet.”

He turned and fled.

A car pulled up with its passenger window down. The driver shouted, “Mama B shoot him with the oil.” She aimed and fired. “Thank you,” said the passenger as the car drove away.

Betty walked the streets praying and anointing her neighborhood and nearby housing projects for many years. While no one can prove Betty’s antics were effective in changing her neighborhood, no one can deny that the housing projects she anointed with oil and prayer were torn down by the government, the others remained.

Devils beware! Mama B is looking for you. Her super-soaker is loaded, and she knows how to use it.

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