Enoch - First Fruits
by Dynah Jaysa Zale
"Enoch, get up!" Malachi snatched the spider man comforter off his younger brother's body. "Enoch, mom said to get up and get ready for school before you're late."
Enoch ignored his brother and turned towards his bedroom window. From where he lay he could see icicles had formed on the bare tree branches outside. Old man winter had snuck into the city of Camden and set up residence throughout the entire area. Temperatures had only reached a high of thirteen and the cold weather vowed to stick around for a spell.
Enoch was already not a lover of mornings and the cold weather wasn't helping any. The sound of his mom calling his name compelled him to rise for the start of a new day.
He sat up and threw his legs over the side of his bed. Kneeling at his bedside he bowed his head to pray.
Malachi ran back to their room to grab his book bag, "Enoch. Yo Enoch," Malachi whispered. "Here comes mom."
Their mom's hard and quick footsteps thumped against the hard wood flooring outside their bedroom. "Boy, didn't I tell you not to pray when you have to be to school." She swung her hand back and her belt sliced through the air and landed across Enoch's back. He jumped and fled to the corner of his room to escape her wrath. His seven year old eyes stared at her, but he refused to cry.
"Get up and get dressed. Now!" She screamed then stomped out the room and down the hall, "Malachi, you come on and eat your breakfast before I give you some of this belt too."
Malachi regretfully looked at Enoch and shuffled behind his mom. Enoch's back stung from the feel of that belt and he could feel a welt developing.
He closed his eyes and wished his grandma hadn't left them. Four months ago she had passed away and since then things hadn't been the same. Their mom had moved in to take care of them, but she wasn't like grandma. Mom drank and cursed at them. There was hardly any food in the house and their house had become a haven for drug addicts. Most days he didn't want to come home from school.
When grandma was living she taught the boys to always put God first. She explained to them that the most important person to talk to first thing in the morning was the Lord. She lived off the belief that 'Mornings are reserved for God.'
Enoch was not upset over his beating. He simply got up and did as his mother asked. He then joined them at the kitchen table. His mom had already fixed him a bowl of cereal and had it waiting for him in front of his chair.
He sat and bowed his head low. Again thanking the Lord. When he finished he looked up and saw his mom watching him. She gave him a mean look and took the cigarette she was smoking out of her mouth and blew the smoke in his direction.
"What did I tell you about that praying when I'm trying to get you off to school?" Enoch avoided answering her by sticking a spoonful of cereal in his mouth. "Since you feel the need to talk to God so much why don't you share with us what you were saying to him."
Enoch chewed then swallowed, "I thanked him for the bowl of cereal I was about to eat."
Rage ignited in his mother's eyes. She lifted the cereal bowl from in front of him and threw it across the room. The bowl and its contents splattered against the kitchen wall. "If you thank God for food I buy then you don't need to eat my food."
She stormed out the room. Malachi got up and handed Enoch his book bag. "Come on. Let's get going before were late for school."
They bundled up in coats, hats, scarves and boots for their hike to school. "I miss grandma!" Enoch said.
"So do I, but you make mom mad when you pray so much. What's up with that? Can't you pray later?"
"But God says to give him your first fruits? I'm just obeying God's word."
"Enoch, I think that means giving a part of your paycheck to God. You don't have any money to give God."
"Grandma told me first fruits means giving God the first of anything you get because it all comes from him. I not only give him the first few minutes of my day but I thank him before I take the first bite of any meal I eat."
"Man, if you keep giving God your first. Mom is going to give you a beating first thing every morning."
"I'm not scared. God said I should fear nothing."
Malachi opened the door for him to enter the school. "That was fine when we were living with grandma but since she died and mom moved in she doesn't like when you talk about God so much." They stopped in front of his classroom. "I think you should keep that stuff to yourself. Do it when she's not around then she won't get so mad at you." The ten minute buzzer sounded off. "I'll meet you out front after school." Malachi took off towards his classroom. "I believe in Matthew 6:33. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you." Enoch recited before taking his assigned seat in class.