Tears streamed down the little girl’s round face. “Why do they treat me this way, Daddy? I still want to be their friend.”
Her father bent down and wrapped his arms about the girl’s shoulders. “Sadly, some people refuse to be friends with those they see as different from themselves.”
A confused look filled the little girl’s eyes. “But we aren’t different. We are all seven years old. We are in the same class at school—where we learn the same things. And we like to play the same games after school.”
Her father slowly nodded his head “What color is their skin?”
The little girl’s forehead wrinkled. “What difference does that make? In Sunday School, we learned that Jesus loves all the little children of the world—black and yellow, red and white. We were told we’re all precious in his sight. And we are, aren’t we, Daddy?”
“I certainly believe that’s the case,” he replied.
That same look of confusion was still adrift in the little girl’s brown eyes when she asked, “Aren’t we supposed to do what Jesus did?”
I believe we are,” her father replied as he tightened his grasp of his daughter’s shoulders. “But the thing is, some people profess to love Jesus. And yes, sometimes they say that they want to follow the ways Jesus showed them to treat others. Still, some of these same people seem to find it is impossible to love—or even pretend to like— people whom they perceive as different from themselves.”
“But Daddy, I just told you that these girls and I are the same.”
Her father leaned over and kissed the top of her head before he said, “Honey, you and I believe that because we’re all children of God, we’re all created of the same stuff that God is. So yes, we believe that we’re all the same. But not everyone shares these beliefs, my dearest.” He flashed a smile before he continued on, “You have white skin like mine. You have white skin like your mother’s. But your friends have brown skin like their parents have, don’t they?”
“Yes,” the little girl said.
“I suspect that one or both of their parents have told them that white children like you should not play with brown children like them. And so, even though they may like to play with you and be friends, they don’t want to disobey their parents.”
“But I really liked playing with them. “ Mote tears began to flow down the little girl’s white skin. “I am very sad I can’t play with them.”
“They probably feel sad, too. But they’re still probably more concerned with not disobeying their parents.” Her father reached out and gave the little girl’s hand a squeeze. “It hurts me to see you sad. So, what could we do right now that might make you feel happier?”
“I want to go outside and play with those girls.”
Her father kissed her cheek this time. “Haven’t your mother and I told you that sometimes you can’t do something no matter how much you might want to do it?”
“Well, you must forget about playing with these girls.” He patted the t curls on her head. “Don’t be angry with them. And please, don’t allow this to keep you feeling sad. Forget about them and come up with things you can do to feel happy and good about yourself in spite of what they’re doing—probably to meet their parents’ demands.”
,p>The little girl suddenly broke into a smile. “Daddy, I want to draw pictures that tell a story,
“But will you help me to write the words that help people to understand the story—if I can’t spell them all?”
“Sure,” he replied.
The little girl flashed another smile. “I’m going to draw a picture of a girl who’s sad like me because other children won’t play with her.”
“ Oh?” Her father said as he gave her curls another pat.
The little girl quickly broke away and started skipping in the direction of her bedroom. Once in that room, she opened one of the drawers in an oak desk and pulled out white sheets of paper and a large box of crayons. Soon, she was skipping back down the hallway. Very quickly, she entered the kitchen where her father was seated at a wooden table covered with a green tablecloth. She quickly set her things on the table and climbed into a chair with a green and white checked cushion. It was across the table from her father’s chair.
The little girl first drew a picture of a little girl who was frowning and had tears rolling down her cheeks. The next picture she drew appeared to be the same little girl, but this time, she appeared to be reading a book and was wearing a hint of a smile. Then, in the third picture, the same little girl’s smile stretched from ear to ear.
The father stretched across the table and looked straight into his daughter’s eyes. “Tell me about each of the pictures you drew.”
The little girl picked up the first picture with the crying girl. “Well, at first, the little girl is unhappy because people she thought were her friends will no longer play with her.” As her father gave a nod, she put that picture back down and picked up the second one. She pointed at what was apparently a book the girl in the picture was reading and said, “This same girl starts to read her Children’s Bible. She remembers that even if the other children don’t like her, Jesus does. And suddenly, she feels all warm inside and so a smile begins to grow on her face.”
The little girl set down the second picture and picked up the third one. She grinned as she looked over at her father. “Here she tells herself that other people may let her down, but Jesus never will. So, next time she feels sad, she will tell Jesus, and he will make sure something happens to make her feel better.”
Her father kept nodding. “Yes, and I suspect Jesus guided you to draw these pictures. Also, Jesus helped you to understand what messages they were to relay. After all, Jesus knew this is what you needed to do and to hear right now—to make you feel better.”
“Yes Daddy, Jesus is helping me. But what about those girls?”
“Ah, I suspect that they’re hearing the voices of their fathers her on earth very loudly and clearly, but they may not be hearing the voice of Jesus.”
The girl sent her father a puzzled look. “What do you mean?”
He laughed. “You will probably understand what I meant in a few years from now—when you‘re a bit older. For now, though, just remember that Jesus love you very much—just as I do.” Her father paused and flashed another warm smile her way. “Also try and remember, during those times when some people on this earth do hurtful things to you, that while they may profess to love Jesus, they’re not really hearing and following the ways of Jesus. However, my child, it appears you are.”
The little girl stared back at her father. Her brown eyes were wide open. “And that is a good thing?”
“A very good thing indeed,” he said.