My first children’s book, From Grumpy to Grateful, is being prepared for publication. For the next few days my readers are getting a preview, to prepare for Thanksgiving, and perhaps to share with the children in your life.
If you missed the intro yesterday, here’s the link:
“Sunday school?” Bill laughed, even though Jackson wasn’t trying to be funny. “Why would I want to do that?”
Jackson felt his face getting red as the bigger boy rejected his invitation so rudely.
“Well …” he began, “we sing songs and hear stories about God and stuff.”
“God!?” Bill laughed even louder. “You still believe in those fairy tales?” Jackson had never heard Bible stories called “fairy tales” before, and it gave him a sick feeling in his stomach.
“Fairy tales? No! Jesus really lived, and He healed people! He walked on water! He even rose from the dead after they killed Him!”
Bill snickered and crushed a beetle on the sidewalk. “Yeah, and that bug’s gonna come back to life any second now.” With that he let out a loud laugh that made Jackson’s face burn. By now the kids next door were looking his way, and he felt like crawling under a rock.
“Jesus … loves you,” he said, so softly the other boy could hardly hear him.
“Sure He does,” said Bill sarcastically. He looked tough, but Jackson thought he sounded angry, too. “What did God ever do for me?” he demanded.
“Jesus loves you so much He died for you!” Jackson suddenly felt stronger as he heard himself say the words, but Bill was quick to answer, and the feeling didn’t last.
“I told you, I don’t believe in that stuff! What did He … what did God ever do for me?” he demanded again, and Jackson thought he heard a catch in his voice, as if he were trying not to cry. Jackson almost felt sorry for him, but Bill was bigger than he was, and the way he clenched his fists made Jackson back away and stop trying to talk to him.
“OK,” Jackson murmured, walking away.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, we get discouraged sometimes when the people around us reject the gospel. Remind us when we are rejected that You were rejected, too, and that in our rejection we are sharing in Your sufferings. Help us not to let discouragement keep us from sharing our faith. Give us courage to speak out, even when it doesn’t seem that we’re being heard. In Your precious name, amen.