"Oh, it was fun," answered Angie. "For the last couple of weeks, we've been learning different verses. Today our verse was Ephesians 4:32 - 'Be ye kind one to another.'"
That same day when they were home eating lunch, Angie brought up the subject of her Bible verse again. "You know, I bet I could practice my Bible verse if there were a new girl at school, but there isn't. So I guess I'll just have to face it."
"Well, you certainly don't know. A new girl could show up any time. You know that," said Angie's mother.
"Yeah, I guess I do," Angie mumbled and went to her room.
Angie turned off her alarm clock. She yawned sleepily. "Time to get up," she said to herself.
Quickly she picked out a pretty green dress from her closet. Then she went to the dresser and took out some green socks. Hmmm.... "All green today," she thought. Then she went downstairs.
"Angie, is that you?" called her mother.
"It's me," said Angie.
"Well, then. Come down and get it. Breakfast is all ready."
"Okee dokee," said Angie.
Angie quickly ate her breakfast.
"Hurry and get your shoes on or you'll miss the bus."
"Okay, Mom," said Angie. Quickly she ran out to the bus (after she put on her shoes).
"Hi," said Susan. "Guess what?" she almost yelled.
"What?" asked Angie excitedly.
"There's a new girl in our class, and I'll bet you don't know this: She can't talk right. I don't know what it is, but it's some sort of sickness or something."
"Oh, and she's in our class?" Angie asked.
"Yeah," said Susan. [Rinnnnnnngggggggggg.] The bell noisily called them to class.
"See ya," said Susan.
"Yeah, see ya." Then Angie walked off to class.
"Class," said the teacher, "I would like to introduce a new student, Miss Amanda Foster. Amanda has cerebral palsy," the teacher went on to explain, "and she cannot talk right. So please try to be a friend to her," said the teacher, searching each girl's face.
"Math, dumb, dumb math!" Angie thought as she surveyed the paper in front of her. "Oh, why does math have to be so hard?" A scowl passed her lips as she looked at the old red clock. Fifteen minutes until her freedom came.
Finally! Only one more problem to go! "Got it!" thought Angie.
"DING! Bong! BING!" The recess bell!
Angie suddenly got so excited she almost dropped her whole pile of books! Angie hurriedly gathered her things up in her arms, and walked out the door heading for the lockers.
"Uh, 2 right, 5, 97." Angie shoved her things inside
and shut the locker. While she was walking to the playground she
reviewed her verse silently.
"Oh, same as always" was Angie's usual reply. "Except for one thing," said Angie with a twinkle in her eyes.
"Oh, and what was that?" said Mrs. Peterson entering the living room.
"There's a new girl at school," Said Angie as she seated herself on the couch.
"Really? Is she in your class?" Mrs. Peterson said as she sat down next to her daughter.
"Yeah, her name is Amanda Foster and she is my age but... " Angie's voice slowly drifted away.
"But what, Angie?" said Mrs. Peterson, studying Angie's now scowling face.
"Well, I, well. It's just...she has something called cerebral palsy, and my teacher says it means...well, she, she can't talk right. I, I, I just don't like her!"
"What! But Angie just the other day you wanted to act out that verse you learned in Sunday school! Angie, listen to me. You can show her that Jesus loves her by being her friend! And you're always so good at making friends, so here is your chance. Are you going to take it? Or are you going to stupidly reject it? It's your choice, Angie."
"But Mom," replied Angie. "I'd never ever get along with her!"
"Hush! Of course, you will! Now you hurry and go wash your hands."
That night while Angie was saying her prayers: "Dear Lord, help
me to do what you said in your word. Thank you, Lord, Amen!"
As Angie walked out of the classroom into the hallway, she started towards Susan who was on top of the slide, motioning to Angie to come and play with her. But then she noticed Amanda sitting on a bench all alone. No one would play with her or let her play with them.
Angie felt her pockets and found a notebook and a pencil and slowly started towards Amanda. When Angie reached Amanda, she smiled and said, "Hi!"
Amanda looked down at the ground and did not respond. Angie started to get mad. But then she remembered her verse and then softly spoke to the girl in front of her: "Will you talk on my notepad?"
Amanda looked up and started to smile, and slowly nodded her head. The two wrote back and forth, quietly but happily, then walked off to play.
As they headed towards the swing set,
Angie silently prayed, "Thank you, Lord, Thank you!"
"Oh, it was simply wonderful! Oh, Mom! I've never had so much fun!"
"Well! That is NOT usual! What in WORLD happened?" replied Angie's mystified mother.
"I did it, Mom! I did it!"
"Good grief! What did you do? Burn down the school?" said her mother with a twinkle in her eyes.
"Amanda and I are the perfectly perfect friends now!" said Angie, bouncing up and down with excitment!
"Oh, Angie! I'm proud of you! Now, I want you to sit down and tell me the whole story!"
"Well, it will take a loooong time," Angie replied, eyeing the cookies on the table.
"All right," said Mrs. Peterson laughing. "You just sit down and I'll bring in the cookies and milk!"
That night when Angie was saying her prayers, she added a short sentence: "Thank you, Lord! Thank you!"
By Rosemarie Haas