For me this started at a very young age. Culturally, Where I grew up, it was acceptable to play pranks on the night before Halloween (called Mischief Night). These were mostly harmless pranks, but one year it took on a far more sinister bent. Across from where we lived was an elderly couple. The husband was gruff and not very likable to the neighborhood kids. For some reason that year, these kids singled out his house for their pranks. It started off small, each time he would charge out of his house yelling at the pranksters as they ran away. This year it did not stop, it went on for weeks till the wee hours of the morning, I never knew for sure who was doing it. This went on until one night after taunting him, he stormed out of his house yelling and then went inside, collapsed and died.
Even thought at the time I was only 7 years old. I understood what they had done to this man and his wife. For some reason I felt a sense of guilt for not stopping them. There was no way I could have stopped them.
The memory of this event had faded from the local culture, and as I entered my early teens, I made a vow that no one would ever bother that house again. For many years I would stand guard over that house from the shadows of my parents property I would watch. If anyone approached that house to do the widow or her sister harm, a brilliant blinding light would strike perpatrator and they would run off. They never knew who was behind that beam and no one ever bothered them again. One day, years later, while taking over produce from our garden. I got up the courage to tell them why no one ever bothered them. The sisters did not say a word, but the gratitude they showed was deafening.
Even though in the end I did tell them who was behind their hedge of protection for all that time before it was only known to God. It was sweet to know that they were safe.