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.
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.”
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.