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Heather Finds An Answer
by Sylvia Huffnagle
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Resolutely, Heather sat up on the bed, reached for a tissue, and wiped her eyes. She had cried enough--it was time to get her room cleaned before she went out to set the table for the evening meal. Besides, she knew everything would be okay, because her Father in heaven had assured her of that in the Bible, but it still hurt to be shunned by her friends. Well . . . ex-friends. It hurt to know they all thought she was unbalanced.

It all started when she went forward at the youth rally and asked Jesus into her heart and God to be her Father. She promised him that she would listen to him. She started studying the Bible. It was all different now. Before she had thought the Bible boring, but now she was eager to learn everything God wanted to teach her. Soon after that she came across the scripture at the end of 2Corinthians 6 and the beginning of 2Corinthians 7, where it says that a Christian, in this case, herself, must come out from among unbelievers and be separated from all uncleanness and then God would be able to develop a Father/child relationship with her. So, she had done it--she had refused her friends’ invitation to go skating because she knew what kind of music they played. She didn’t go to the spring dance because she knew how the kids would dress, and talk, and behave. She was around that stuff at school, but she had to go there. She didn’t do the mall or the burger and fry place with her friends anymore for similar reasons. She didn’t enjoy their company anymore, anyway. All they did was talk about boys, clothes, and magazines. And they always had to have that worldly music playing. She didn’t know how she had ever enjoyed it--she sure didn’t now. Why, that music glorified the very things Jesus had suffered and died to save her from. No,--she couldn’t join in that stuff anymore, but she missed her friendships--the comraderly--the having things in common--the discovering life together. At one point, she became almost convinced that she had gotten it wrong--maybe she was overboard, but then she read in 1John that she was not to love the world, nor the things of the world--so how could she believe she was wrong? She couldn’t be wrong.

Heather’s mother had noticed that her normally cheerful daughter was anything but cheerful lately and she was becoming quite concerned. Heather endured the snubs, taunts, and loneliness all the following week. Saturday morning, she sauntered into the kitchen looking like a lost lamb if ever there was one. April, Heather’s mother was folding clothes in the laundry room off the kitchen and she saw her come into the kitchen dragging her feet and her heart went out to her. Pausing in the middle of folding a sheet, she quirked her brows and asked, “What’s the matter, Heather, you were so happy, especially since you received the Lord, up until now?”

The breakfast bar faced the laundry room door and Heather slid onto one of the three maple barstools, before answering. “I am happy about the Lord, Mom, but I’m having a hard time handling the rejection at school and from my old friends.” The tremor in Heather’s voice tugged at her mother’s heart. April put down the sheet she had been folding and went to her daughter. After giving her an encouraging hug, she slid onto the next barstool and asked, “How come they’re giving you a rough time?”

Heather raised her eyebrows. “Well, think about it, Mom. I’m not of the world anymore. I don’t hang with them. I don’t even have anything to talk with them about--you know all they talk about is boys, dates, clothes, and stuff.”

Brows drawn together even more, April searched her daughter’s face. Was Heather getting weird? What was she talking about? she wondered. She had been a Christian since forever, she guessed, but she’d never had her friends snub her. Of course, her friends had been Christians too, maybe that was the difference. She had to make sure Heather hadn‘t taken a wrong turn. “Just what are you doing? I mean, how are you treating these girls, now that you are serious with God?”

“Honest Mom, I’ve been real nice to them. I’ve tried to be helpful too. I explained to them about Jesus and what he did for us and why I didn’t want to hang out anymore. They took the Jesus part okay because they went to see the movie, The Passion--but when I told them I wasn’t like them anymore, they sneered at me, just like they did Jesus. I know its part of the deal--the world hated Jesus too--but it hurts.” A tear trickled down her face, followed by a second and then a third.

April reached for a tissue and gently wiped Heather’s face. Softly and carefully, she asked, “Heather are you sure you didn’t sound haughty or something?”

Heather shook her head. “No Mom, I didn’t. I tried to be nice about it.”

“Well, Honey, I think you could have been a little less blunt. Sometimes we need to use wisdom about what to say. The Bible says we should be wise as serpents and harmless as doves, you know. It’s possible that because you are a new baby Christian that you didn’t handle it as well as you could have.” Heather started to cry harder. April hugged her again. “No, don’t cry. You did what you thought was right. That’s all a person can do. It may well be that even if you had handled it better; your friends would have been offended, anyway. Heather sobbed silently. April continued to hug her, hoping she would soon feel a little better. “Honey, there’s nothing you can do about this except keep loving them and keep being nice to them. Probably someday they’ll adjust and be nice to you again. There’s something else you can do too. You need to find new friends--Christian friends. Surely some of the girls at church are real Christians.”

Heather’s face brightened and she jumped up. “That’s it! Why didn’t I think of that? That’s what I have to do--find other girls like me.” She started toward her room. “Thanks Mom, I’m going to go call Cindy from church--maybe I‘ll call Gina and Stacy too.”

© Sylvia Huffnagle

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