What is Your Response?

Last week my blog was about discerning God’s will. Much has been written about this, but mainly God’s will is to be a loving person. Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

Today I’d like to share a short story which illustrates how one girl fit into God’s will by using her talent. This story has been published in “Bread” magazine.

SARA’S RESPONSE TO LOVE

by Judith Vander Wege

Sara burst into the house, tears streaming down her cheeks. She slammed the door and ran to her room. “Sara, what…?” Mother exclaimed.

Sara lay face down on her bed, sobbing. Mother sat down beside her. “What’s the matter, Honey?” she asked, stroking Sara’s hair. “What happened?”

Sara sobbed as her mother caressed her back. “Nobody likes me.”

“I like you,” Mother said softly. “So does Daddy.”

“Well, Ted sure doesn’t,” Sara burst out. “He says I’m good for nothing.”

“Don’t take your brother so seriously. Now give me a hug before I go finish dinner.”

Sara slowly sat up and put her arms around her mother. Mama doesn’t understand how I feel, but… I’m glad she tries.

That night, she had a wonderful dream. Thinking of it, she asked at breakfast, “Mama, is it a gift to make up stories?”

“Why yes, it can be called a gift of imagination. And you have a good imagination.”

“But who gave it to me?”

“Jesus did, dear.”

The following Sunday, Sara’s Sunday School teacher talked about Jesus blessing the little children. Sara stayed after class to ask, “What is Jesus like?”

Teacher smiled. “Well— his eyes are full of love and understanding. He’s happy to see us. His voice is gentle and tender, and he’s not in too much of a hurry to talk with us.”

“That’s him!” Sara clapped her hands twice. “Jesus is the King I saw in my dream!”

Teacher smiled. “Yes, Jesus is the King of Kings and LORD of Lords.”

“And he’s really alive?” Sara asked.

“Yes, he’s really alive,” Teacher assured her. “And he loves you very much.” Sara threw her arms around Teacher in a grateful hug.

Later, Mother told Daddy with a puzzled smile, “I’ve never seen Sara so happy.”

All week, the King’s words from her dream echoed in Sara’s mind: “Use your gift of imagination to show love to others. That way you will show love to me.”

How could she show love? Finally, she had a plan. Saturday morning, Sara put on her clothes and straightened up her room before breakfast.

“Would you like me to set the table, Mama?” Mother looked surprised, then smiled and nodded. After breakfast, Sara helped clear the table, too.

Later, Sara made a thank-you card for Mother, thanking her for meals, clothes, and everything she could think of. She decorated it with pictures of colored flowers.

“Thank you, Honey. That’s sweet of you.” Sara smiled and skipped off happily.

The next afternoon, Father went outside to wash the car after his weekly nap. Moments later, he returned with a quizzical look and a card. “Somebody washed the car. And look at this.” He showed Mother a card. A picture of a yellow ice cream cone graced the cover of the card with the words, “Banana-flavored, Yumm.”

Inside, the first page said, “Thanks for the times you have taken me for rides, stopping to get ice cream.” On the second page, it said: “You’re the best father a girl ever had. Thanks for being so nice to me, Dad. Love, Sara.”

Father blinked and cleared his throat, then said to Sara, “Now you’ve got me hungry for one of those cones. Come on, let’s go get one.”

Later, Sara made a card for their sick neighbor and wrote to a lonely aunt. When she heard some younger neighbor children fighting, she asked, “Would you like me to tell you a story?”

“Yeah,” they responded. After the story, they played and laughed together.

Because she wanted to know Jesus better, Sara read in the Bible. The Pastor had said it’s God’s love letter to us. One day at school, when she wanted to comfort a friend whose father had moved away, Sara told her, “The Bible says God will never leave us nor forsake us. For God loved the world so much he gave his only Son …”

One day Sara said, “Ted, please show me how to play that song?… I’d sure like to play the piano like you do.”

Ted looked surprised. “Sure.” Over time, their relationship improved as Ted taught her what he’d learned. She tried to be kind when he seemed impatient and critical.

One night, Sara dreamed about the King again. In her dream, she thanked him for the gift of imagination.

“You’re welcome, Sara. I love to give gifts to those who will use them. Continue to use your gift to show love, and some will want a close relationship with me like you have.”

Sara woke up with a great sense of joy and peace, “Thank you, King Jesus. The greatest gift of all is to share your love.”

 

If you liked the story, please comment and tell me how you use your talents

to show love, or other ways you fit into God’s will.

Judith Vander Wege

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