Hello, everyone! I’m sorry I’ve been super absent lately (I shall explain in an upcoming post, Lord-willing). Anyways, I wrote this short story for the Bible Bee Creative Arts Community Quest. Though I didn’t win anything, I enjoyed writing it and hope it blesses you all!
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“Here, Providence, give this to that lady while I find some salt and honey,” Mother says. I glance at the tract and the paper about our church’s Resurrection Sunday service. Do what your mother said, half my brain tells me. The other half of me refuses to budge. I’m too afraid, and besides, I’ve already handed out five other tracts today. But I know my mother will be back any second, so I quickly tap the lady.
“Um, hello?” she says with a slight smile. She won’t take you serious because you’re only 11, whispers the voice in the back of my head. A wave of embarrassment washes over me, and I shove the papers into her hands while mumbling some words about church, God, and Resurrection Sunday.
“Did you give the lady the tract and the invite?” Mother asks as I exit the aisle. I nod, feeling a stabbing pain in my heart. I frown. I didn’t lie or anything, so why does my heart feel heavy?
“I guess we will leave now,” Mother replies, noting that between the two of us, all twenty tracts were handed out.
Rolling over, I sigh. A glance at the clock tells me it’s exactly two in the morning. Unfortunately, it’s way too early to get up. From the opposite side of the bedroom, I hear my two older brothers snoring. Beside me, I hear the gentle breathing of my younger sister and best friend, Ruth. I see my brother’s arm from the bunkbed above me, and I hear Selah roll over from her blanket-bed on the floor.
“Why can’t I sleep?” I whisper to no one in particular. After thirty minutes of unsuccessfully trying to fall asleep, I crawl out of bed and tiptoe to our apartment’s small living room.
Plopping myself on the couch, I turn on a lamp. Much to my disappointment, all of our interesting books are in the bedroom. Noticing a book on the end table, I pick it up, but after reading a few sentences, I realize economics does not interest me. In between debating on whether or not I ought to sneak into our bedroom and find a chapter book, I see a black book on the kitchen table.
“Whose book is that?” I mumble. Upon reading the inscription on the cover, I realize it’s my Bible. I open it, and I skim through some New Testament books. A verse catches my eye.
“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” I quietly read in 1 Timothy 4:12. My mind thinks back of the events of the previous day, and I realize I was not too young to be taken seriously. God can use anyone, regardless of age, if it’s His plan. I feel a slight sting in my heart as I flip some pages in my Bible.
“…rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.” (Acts 5:41b) They rejoiced because they suffered shame for His name? Am I willing to suffer shame for His name?
“No,” I reply. I have not been willing to suffer shame for His name. My brain reminds me of all the times I have been afraid to witness because I didn’t want to get hurt in the process. A tear falls down my cheek. Kneeling on the couch, I begin to admit my wrongdoings to the Lord.
“Lord, I’m so guilty…I…I never wanted to share Your Gospel with others because I thought I was too young and people wouldn’t take me seriously. Lord, I realize that is not true, and that you can use anyone, regardless of their age, to witness for You.
“Lord, I am also sorry for being ashamed to share Your Word. I have let my fear get in the way of sharing the Gospel. Your apostles said they were counted worthy to suffer shame for Your name. I don’t know if I’m ready to suffer shame for Your name, but please don’t let my fear overtake me.
“If I should suffer for You, Lord, help me see that You are always with me and that with You, I can do all things. Lord, please forgive me, and help me to be bold for You, and to spread the Gospel with joy. I am not ashamed of what You have done for me. Amen.”
Rising from the couch, I place my Bible on the end table on top of my siblings’ Bibles. My heart feels light, and I am joyful. Lord, I silently pray as I crawl into bed, help me not to be ashamed for Your name.