Lisa held the frame in her hand fingering the glass as a tear drop escaped and made a path to the corner of her lips. She was determined not to abandon her friends, but there would be a price to pay.
It was Friday night when her cell phone tweedled a happy little tune that told her that Jessica, her best friend was calling. “Hey, Jess, what up?” She happily greeted.
The voice on the other end was garbled and frantic. “Leese, ya gotta come help us, we all been drinkin’ and Diana is headed to ‘er car. None a us should be drivin’. If her Dad finds out he’s gonna beat her again.”
After getting the address where her friends were at, Lisa hopped into her little beat up Ford Escort, and hotfooted it to her friends’ aid. Along with Jessica, they coaxed Diana into Lisa’s car. On one condition, she could keep her beer.
Lisa chewed at her lip nervously. She knew she shouldn’t but right now Diana was being agreeable and it wouldn’t take much to throw her into a gianormous temper tantrum.
They only made it a few blocks when Diana announced. “I’m gonna puke!” Lisa dove for a curb, lit out of the driver’s seat, and held it forward as Diana kneeled on the floorboard with her head out of the car and spilled her guts.
Suddenly they were blinded by rotating red and blue lights behind them. Diana went hysterical, and Jessica started crying. A breath test confirmed that Jessica and Diana were drinking, but Lisa was not. A search of the car, however, incriminated Lisa with being in possession of alcohol.
Lisa didn’t mind so much doing the community service. The money she’d been saving to pay her car insurance went to pay her fine. She lost her driving privileges, that hurt a little bit, but what really smarted was that she was suspended from the childrens’ ministry team.
Pastor Eric had called and requested a conference with Lisa and her parents. He had read in the paper where she had been charged with minor in possession of alcohol. “One of our requirements, as you well know, Lisa,” he quietly, yet steadily declared, “is that you are a positive role model for our youngsters. Their parents are entrusting us with the most precious souls in their lives, and we don’t take that responsibility lightly. They need to trust us. After a season of support and counseling, we will re-evaluate the situation, and consider inviting you to join us once again.”
Lisa couldn’t maintain her composure although she did try. She boldly faced the police officer, the judge, and even her parents without so much as a wayward sigh. She knew that she could have made a better decision, but that her heart was in the right place. Now, however, they were hitting her soft spot. She looked forward every week to playing Noah’s Ark, or David and Goliath with the 5 year olds. What were they going to think when she was no longer there? They would pass to the next grade before she returned.
Pastor Eric put a hand on her shoulder as she wept convulsively. “It’s just a matter of time, Sweetheart, it will all work out in the end,” he reassured her. “We know that you just made a bad choice, and we want to be there for you through it all.”
When Lisa and her parents got home, she just wanted some alone time, and headed to her room. “Hey you, come here” Her mother directed.
"Great," She thought. "Here comes the lecture."
Her mom was holding a picture frame. Inquisitively, Lisa looked at it, her brow knotted in confusion. Her citation was right there under glass.
“So what,” she huffed, “you gonna hold this over my head for eternity?”
“Yes,” her mother replied, “the fact that on that night you may very well have saved someone’s life, I think is a point worth remembering. To me that trumps a Sunday school class.”
Gentle raindrop tears fell freely on Lisa’s cheeks. She hadn’t thought anyone in the world understood. She sent a silent prayer of thanks to God for giving her the encouragement she needed, as always, at the perfect time.
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