Sybil buried her face in her hands. "I wish I'd been nicer to him."
Christine's face was red from crying. "He died so young. It's not fair."
Mrs. Nelson sat down at the empty desk beside them. She wiped her eyes with a crumpled tissue and sighed. "Jon's car accident was a terrible tragedy. He will be missed."
Tommy plunked down in the seat next to Christine. "I wish everyone would stop crying already. Jon was a Christian, so he's in heaven now. Can we not talk about it anymore?"
"Tommy, it's okay for us to be sad right now," Mrs. Nelson said softly. "It's okay to be upset about losing a classmate."
"But there's nothing we can do about it. He's gone. Can't we just cheer up?"
"We could," said Mrs. Nelson, "but we should grieve with those whose hearts are hurting."
"Well, I don't like it." Tommy grabbed his book and walked to the reading corner.
Mrs. Nelson followed and sat in the bean bag next to Tommy. "Are you cold, Tommy?" she asked, pointing to the blanket draped over his legs.
"A little, I guess." He tucked the fleece blanket under his knees.
"How would you feel if I took the blanket away?" asked Mrs. Nelson.
Tommy glanced up sharply. "Why would you do that?"
"I wouldn't, Tommy. That would be mean. That blanket is giving you warmth and comfort, right?"
Tommy shrugged. "Yeah, I guess."
"Well, in Proverbs it says that trying to cheer up a sad person is like taking a blanket away from someone who's cold. Right now your classmates are hurting and they need a blanket of comfort. That's one of the ways we show others the love of Jesus--by comforting and supporting them when they're sad and sharing their grief, even when we know the person they're grieving is in heaven."
Tommy thought for a moment, loosened the blanket, and laid it over Mrs. Nelson's knees. "I'm sorry you're sad right now."
Mrs. Nelson smiled. "Thanks, Tommy." Tannis Oliveri HOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you know someone who is dealing with grief? Sometimes it makes us uncomfortable when people are sad, and we want to cheer them up. But the best way to show them God’s love is to be sad with them and help carry their load of grief. You don’t have to have the right words, just be there and grieve with those who grieve.
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: Romans 12:15 (KJV)
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
*Verse displayed is NKJV