Feeling her shoes pinch her feet, Shavonda looked out at the auditorium. She'd never felt more relieved to finish singing a song. She'd also never felt angrier.
It was Children's Day at church, which meant that all the children had been specially involved in the service. Shavonda's friend Brynlee had invited her to sing a duet for the occasion.
"I'm not sure," Shavonda had told her.
"Please!" Brynlee begged. "We can do it together!"
Brynlee's enthusiasm won Shavonda over, and she agreed. After a few hours of practicing, both girls felt prepared.
When it came time to perform at the church service, though, Brynlee's stage fright left her silent. Shavonda was startled, but she kept singing, all the way to the end. What had begun as a duet ended as a solo.
The congregation clapped, and the girls took their seats with other kids who'd already performed. But for Shavonda, it wasn't over.
After the service ended, Shavonda stormed outside. On the way to the parking lot, her grandmother stopped her.
"You did a wonderful job today, Shavonda," Granny declared. Then she noticed Shavonda's expression. "What's wrong, honey?" she asked.
"I didn't even want to sing that song until Brynlee talked me into it--then she didn't even sing! She left me up there looking silly. She knows I don't like singing in front of a crowd!" Shavonda fumed.
"You didn't look silly--you made a joyful noise to the Lord. But I understand why you're upset. Sometimes people let us down, Shavonda. I think Brynlee probably disappointed herself too."
Shavonda looked confused. "You think so?" she asked. Granny nodded. "I know how much Brynlee likes singing. She probably feels bad," Shavonda said.
Granny smiled. "You sang about God's love today, honey. We have that love in our hearts because of what Jesus has done for us. We can show it by being compassionate--and by forgiving others when they let us down."
Shavonda noticed Brynlee walking toward her. She still felt embarrassed about the performance, but she also cared about her friend.
"Brynlee!" Shavonda called, ready to comfort her friend with a hug.
-Allison Wilson LeeHOW ABOUT YOU?
Has someone done something that hurt or embarrassed you? Sometimes friends and loved ones let us down, even without meaning to. Did you find it hard to forgive? Remembering that Jesus is always compassionate to us can help us be kind to others even when they disappoint us. We can forgive others when we consider how much God has forgiven us. Trust Him to help you show others forgiveness and compassion.
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (NIV)