COMPASSION – How will Emily support her friend?

Little Emily in her Own Little World

Climbing up the steps of the school bus, Emily’s thoughts felt heavy. She slid into the first seat by the window. Gazing outside, the vivid colors of green grass, yellow flowers, and blue skies caught her attention. “God made such a beautiful world,” she thought. Then everything blurred. The other kids laughed at each other’s stories but Emily wasn’t listening. Yes, Emily was in her own little world again.

Compassion for a Friend

Today, when Emily’s friend Bethany walked into class, her cheeks and nose were super red. Tears trickled from her eyes. Emily’s heart filled with compassion. How could she comfort her friend?

At recess, Emily determined to learn what upset Bethany. She spotted her friend sitting on their favorite rock. As she approached Bethany, she said, “Hey, Bethany, is something wrong?” Bethany looked down at her shoes and bit her lip. Emily waited while Bethany gathered her thoughts, then she reached for her friend’s hand. As she did, Bethany’s lip quivered. “Tell me what’s wrong, Bethany.” Bethany looked up at Emily, tears lay heavy on her lashes

“I don’t know what to do Emily.”  Her voice trembled, so Emily reached over and hugged her friend around the neck. A giant wave of sobs came out of Bethany’s mouth. Emily could not imagine what hurt her friend. Bethany never sobbed out loud in public before.

My Mom Wants a Divorce

When Bethany’s tears slowed, she said, “My Mom and Dad had into a huge fight last night. They were shouting and my Mom said she wants a divorce. My Dad told her, ‘Go ahead, see if I care, I hope you find the life you are looking for!'” Emily crinkled her nose, she did not understand how parents could act like that.  Her mama and daddy got crabby sometimes, but they had a big fight and they never talked about divorce.

COMPASSION - Learning to Be a Compassionate Friend
Teach Kids to Be Kind and Compassionate

Jesus Cares and He Answers Prayer

Emily sent up a prayer asking God to help her be a good friend to Bethany. “I’m sorry, Bethany, I can see this is hard for you.”  Bethany shook her head, up and down. Fresh tears filled her eyes. Emmy patted her hand and looked deep into her eyes. “I will pray for you and you can pray too, Bethany. Jesus cares and he hears our prayers.” 

Emily knew Bethany didn’t go to Church. In the past, when Emily mentioned Jesus, Bethany changed the subject.  But today she didn’t, instead, she asked, “Emily, do you really believe that Jesus is real?”  “Yes, I do, I really do. There is no one who will ever care for you more than Jesus.”  Emily heard Bethany take a deep breath, she looked relieved.

Emily’s bus stop was next.  After the bus pulled up to Emily’s house, she dashed to the front. The bus door opened, and Emily turned to the bus driver saying, “Thanks, Mr. Charlie, I will see you tomorrow.” Mr. Charlie smiled. Emily spotted his two front teeth that had a big space between them.  She didn’t know anyone who had teeth or a smile like Mr. Charlie’s.

Walking toward the house Emily’s thoughts turned back to Bethany.  She wanted to talk to Mama about her friend.

Emily Safe Place

Opening the door, Emily breathed in the smell of cookies baking.  Mama called to her, “Emmy is it you?” “Yes, mama, it’s me.”  Emily felt warm inside when she heard Mama’s voice. She felt safe when she was home.

Mama was taking cookies out of the oven as Emily walked into the kitchen.  “Mama, I need to talk to you.” Mama looked up and noticed the worry lines on Emily’s forehead. Mama pulled her into a hug and gently kissed her on top of the head.  “What is it, sweetie?” “Mama, Bethany’s parents got in a big fight last night and said awful things to each other. Her mom said she wants a divorce and her dad said, he didn’t care.  Mama, poor Bethany was a mess today.” 

Mama looked concerned. “What did you say to her Emily?” “I told her I would pray for her and she could pray too.  I also told her Jesus cares about her more than anyone else.” Emily paused for a moment and then remembered, “Know what mama? Usually, Bethany doesn’t want to hear about Jesus, but today she asked me if I thought Jesus was real.  It surprised me!” 

A Heart of Compassion

Emily studied Mama’s face. Her eyes looked beyond Emily. She was thinking everything through. “Emily, God has gifted you with a heart of compassion and I am thankful for how much you care about Bethany.

Mama continued, “Jesus used you today!” There was a twinkle in her eyes. “He used your words to cause Bethany to think about Jesus.  Your friend is hurting and we both know that only Jesus can reach into Bethy’s heart and give her peace.” 

“Do you know, sometimes God allows us to go through hard times to get our attention?” Emily thought about that, it was a new idea to her. Mama placed her hand on Emily’s shoulder and said, “Let’s pray that Bethany continues to ask questions about Jesus and that Jesus opens her heart to receive his gift of salvation … In the meantime, she also needs a loyal friend to walk beside her in her pain.”

hardships prepare people
Hard Times Quotes

Mama always knew how to help Emily work through a hard time.  “Mama, it felt so heavy in my heart to think of Bethany living in a house like that.  But you helped me look at it differently.  Maybe God will use this hard time to get Bethany’s attention.” “Yes, honey, I believe he will.  We need to pray he works not only in Bethany’s heart but with her Mom and Dad’s too.”  Mama continued, “Emily, how else do you think you could encourage your friend?”  Emily’s eyes rolled up and to the left, “Hmm, Maybe I’ll ask her to come to our house this Friday night. It will give her a break from the fighting and let her have some fun with our family?”  Mama smiled and said, “Good idea, Emily, I like how you think!” 

Turning Her Friend over to Jesus

After Emily talked to Mama, a weight felt lifted off her heart.  She asked Jesus to help Bethany understand how much he loves her and wants to make her his child. She would pray for Bethy’s Mom and Dad too. She would pray that they learn to love each other.  Emily was excited about all the ways God might answer her prayers.

INTRODUCTION to Emily’s Little Life

MEET THE SUMMERFIELD’S

Meet the Summerfield’s, is an introduction to Emily’s Little Life.  In this chapter, you will catch a glimpse into the heart of each member of the Summerfield family.

The Summerfield family lives in the small town of Greenberry. The Summerfield’s are kind, caring and fun. If you pass one of the family on the street, you can count on a cheerful smile and a warm hello.

The Summerfield house sits on three acres of beautiful grassy land.  The big, white house has a large, welcoming porch that wraps around the front of it.  There are colorful rocking chairs spread all across the porch. The chairs seem to call out, “Come, sit awhile and enjoy the family.”  When you visit the Summerfield’s, it seems like time stands still. Everything that goes on, at the Summerfield’s seems more exciting than anywhere else.

Love for people and Love of God

The Summerfield’s respect people and they love God. On Sunday mornings, the family walks hand in hand, on the road to Greenberry Community Church.

Some skip, some hop and others stroll.  As they talk amongst themselves, smiles light up their faces.  Sometimes, the family melts into fits of laughter, echoing merrily through the streets.

Most everyone who knows the Summerfield family wished they were a Summerfield.  If you play at their house, Mama and Papa Summerfield take you in as one of their own. The doors of the Summerfield house are always open, especially to the neighborhood kids.

Papa Summerfield Loves Kids

Six people live in the Summerfield house.  Papa Summerfield, the Dad, is tall with a head full of dark curly hair.  After work each day he heads for the big porch with an energetic jig and an expectant smile on his face.

Papa Summerfield loves kids, and he always has time for the kids on the block. When one of them wants help with a problem, Papa focuses and helps as best he can. When he plays basketball with the kids, Papa plays harder than any of the kids.

Most of the kids think Papa lets them win.  He is not like most Dads who are too busy with so much to do.  No, he is like a big kid unless he needs to be the authority. When a kid is disrespectful, acts up or sasses, they can count on seeing the adult side of him.

The neighborhood kids like it when Papa Summerfield ruffles their hair and pats them on the back saying, “Atta boy” or “Atta girl.”

 Mama Summerfield Beautiful and Kind

Mama Summerfield is beautiful and kind.  There is laughter in her eyes and a curling up at the sides of her lips. Her long blonde hair sparkles in the sunshine.

No one can ever remember Mama Summerfield getting mad. That does not mean Mama Summerfield doesn’t give the kids a-talking to if they misbehave.  If a kid is selfish, rude or ornery, Mama Summerfield stops everything and takes that little squirt aside to impart a little wisdom.

After a Mama Summerfield talk, no can be mad at her because her eyes move from stern to soft and sparkling in a split second.  The kids love Mama Summerfield, and she loves them right back.  Laughter, hugs, cookies, and a listening ear is what Mama brings to the neighborhood kids.

The Mystery of Little Emily

The star of our story, Emily, is nine years old. Her family and friends call her Emmy. Her hair is bright red and blends perfectly with the crimson freckles that dance across her nose. Every day Mama puts Emily’s hair into a ponytail, pigtails or braids But by the end of the day, there is no evidence that Mama worked to make Emily’s hair look pretty and neat.

As Emily’s day flies by, Mama’s styling skills get destroyed.  Bits of Emily’s hair fall loose and blow wildly in the wind. Hair is not something that matters to Emily but playing, running, skipping and laughing with her friends matters.

Emily has a lot of spunk, and she knows how to stand up for herself and for her friend’s too. If somebody is mean to a kid, Emily challenges the bully and protects her charge. The thing is, bullies back down when Emily gets through confronting them.

Emily is a bit of a mystery. Sometimes, it seems she gets lost in her own little world. She is always thinking, thinking, thinking! You never know what is going on inside that red head of hers unless she tells you.

Molly Rises Above Most Other Kids

Molly is the oldest kid in the Summerfield family.  She is eleven years old and pretty, like her mama, but her long dark hair is thick and black like her Papa’s.

Her unusual large gray eyes, along with her rich dark hair make Molly look like an Egyptian princess.

Molly is one of those girls who rises above most other kids.  She is courteous to everybody at all times.

Molly sees the best in people and does not choose favorites, so guess what?  Everybody likes Molly, except for the kids in clicks who get mad because she won’t join their group.

Molly won’t be part of a group that excludes other kids pretending like no one else exists.  Nope, Molly, will not join them; One of her sayings is, “It is mean to ignore some kids while thinking you are better than them.”

Little Joe is Adored by All

Little Joe is the youngest member of the Summerfield family.  His Papa calls him Wee Man.  He is six years old and has golden hair.

He too has freckles spattered across his nose.  Mama Summerfield calls his freckles angel kisses. Little Joe’s eyes are twinkly and bright blue; They seem to smile whenever his mouth turns up on the sides.

Little Joe is always ready with hugs for anyone who opens their arms to him. He is animated when he plays with his toy cars making those horrible, loud, boy noises like brummm and Urrrrrrrrrk, Pshhhhhhhhhh as he plays with his cars and crashes them together.

When Papa wrestles with him, the two of them fill the whole house with laughter and fun.

Everyone adores little Joe even though he annoys and pesters his sisters. They just can’t stay mad at the baby of the family.

Viet Nam War Vet, Uncle Joe

Uncle Joe is Papa Summerfield’s Favorite brother. They named little Joe in honor of his uncle.  Uncle Joe has a walking stick, and wears a patch over one eye. Most of the time, Uncle Joe wears a black hat with the word Vietnam running across the brim of the cap.

Uncle Joe is tall like Papa, but his hair is bright red.  He has enormous freckles splashed all over his face.

Sometimes Uncle Joe seems far away but other times he’s right there whistling, singing or wrapping a kid in one of his big bear hugs.

Uncle Joe is a Vietnam Vet and though he rarely talks about his life in Vietnam; the kids know he is proud that he served his country. The kids are proud of Uncle Joe too.

Somebody said Uncle Joe got a hit when a grenade blew up right in front of him. Papa says Jesus is the one who saved Uncle Joe’s life and brought him back home to the family.

The kids know not to ask personal questions of Uncle Joe. When one kid forgets and blurts something out about the war, the rest of them hold their breath and cringe as pain escapes from Uncle Joe’s eyes.

Uncle Joe never says a word but turns away and busies himself with a chore.  The kids have learned to wait until Uncle Joe is in the mood to tell them about the days of war.

EMILY’S LITTLE LIFE – Chapter 1

The next chapter on Emily’s Little Life will be about Chores and Responsibilities.  On a bright and sunny day, Little Emily can hardly wait to play.  She’s almost out the door when Little Joe stops her in her tracks.  Come along and see what happens in chapter two of Emily’s Little Life.