Today you notice her as every day before slipping other girl's some of her lunch money. It has always seemed odd to you, but today something tugs at your heart as you see her lean over and whisper a request in the girl's ear, a request you've heard her make aloud to several classmates. The tug grows almost irresistible as you watch her take her place at a table. Alone again. The tug turns to a thought you can almost hear. Now you're certain this tug is a command of God to go sit with her. Personally, you didn't understand why people didn't want to eat lunch with her in the first place. Sure she's different. But that isn't a crime. But it sure seems like it is in junior high. So you go through to smack bar line, get your lunch, walk over to her table and sit down next to her. Her blue eyes are elongated and shine like sky on a perfectly clear summer day. She stares at you as if you were a member of the cheerleading team.
After what seems to you like hours, Mary says, "Steph, what are you doing here?"
"I just thought we could eat lunch together," you say.
"People will see us eating together. And they'll freeze you out."
Just then, one of your friends came by and whispers pointing at Mary, "What are you doing sitting with her?"
"I thought it would be cool to sit with Mary," you say.
"Cooler than eating lunch with me."
Your friend stomps off.
"Wow, thanks," Mary says. "Nobody's stood up for me like that before."
"No biggie," you say.
The next day, you enter the cafeteria. Another friend approaches you and ask you to sit with her.
"Can Mary sit with us too?" You say.
"Sorry, Steph," she says. "Nothing against her or anything." I just don't wanna get laughed at."
"Then I'll pass."
Mary watches from her table. When you sit next to her, she says laughing and smiling, "Looks like another one bites the dust."
"Do you like music?" You say remembering your mom's former love of 80s music.
"Yeah, as you can probably tell, my taste is a little weird," Mary says.
"Really, do you like 80s music too?"
"No, contemporary Christian."
You continue to sit with Mary every day at lunch for a month. You ask her whether she likes sports, movies, board games, books etc..
Finally, she asks, "Why do you want to be my friend?"
"'Cause I think you're very nice," you say
"A lot of people think I'm nice. But they don't sit out the lunch table with me."
"Well, there's another the reason. I wanna introduce you to my best friend."
"What's her name? And what makes you think she'd want to meet me?"
"Well, he already knows you," you declare. "And his name is Jesus."
"You mean God," Mary says.
"That's exactly who I mean. Jesus said to his disciples in the King James Version of John 15:15 '... but I have called you friends....' he wants to be your friend too. Not only that, but he wants you to live with him forever. Do you know what he wants from you in return?"
With a smile that can light up the whole cafeteria, she says "What?"
"You have to know you've messed things up with God, go to him you know you're wrong, and put your faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior."
"When was the last time you messed up with God?"
"Yesterday I lied to my mom, Mary says.
Satisfied she understands everything, you lead her in a prayer. You smile as you think how God can use one day, one act to begin to change a life for eternity.
Teen ministries, youth pastors, Sunday school teachers and parents please feel free to use this story in any way for the purpose of ministering to preteens and teens.
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