Jenny stooped down to tie her shoe while her class was running a lap for gym. As she knelt, one of her classmates veered and stepped on her hand.
"Ow! Hey! You stepped on my hand!" Jenny yelled after the retreating girl.
Susan was always bumping into Jenny or stepping on her toes, and it was starting to make Jenny mad. A teacher confronted Susan after Jenny complained and told her the school had a strict policy against bullying. If it happened again, the teacher said, she would call Susan's parents. Jenny thought Susan might be mad because she tattled, but she just looked sad. Jenny didn't want her to feel bad, she just wanted Susan to stop picking on her.
At supper that night, Jenny told her parents what Susan was doing. Her mom looked at her and said, "Remember when you were little and we brought Mittens home? You pulled her tail and knocked her over, but at first she purred every time you tried to play with her. Then she started hiding from you."
Jenny nodded. "I didn't mean to hurt her. I just wanted to play with her."
"That's right, but you didn't really know how. Do you remember why she eventually stopped hiding under the chair when you came into the room?"
"Because I started petted her more gently like you taught me."
Mom smiled. "Maybe that's Susan's problem--no one ever taught her how to make friends. You've been blessed with people in your life who have showed you how to be a good friend, and you also know the greatest friend there is--Jesus. You can be the kind of friend He is by reaching out to others, even when they treat you badly. Maybe tomorrow you could be friendly to Susan and show her how someone really makes a friend."
On the playground the next day, Jenny saw Susan coming and stepped in front of her. Susan took a step back, and her lip started to tremble. "I didn't mean to hurt you. I'm sorry," she said.
Jenny smiled and put her arm around Susan's shoulders. "Come on," she said. "Let's go beat those guys at kickball!" Gaines Irving ArnoldHOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you find it easy to make friends? Maybe you have lots of friends, but you know people who sit alone at lunch or play by themselves on the playground. How can you be a friend to them? Jesus showed compassion to everyone He met, no matter what they did or how others felt about them. Follow Jesus’ example and reach out to someone who needs a friend.
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: Proverbs 17:17 (KJV)
A friend loves at all times.