Gary held his dear wife Helena while she sobbed. Even after ten years of marriage, he often didn’t know how to comfort her when she grieved. Grieving with her only made it harder.
Somehow, Helena found words through her tears. “Why, Gary? First being infertile, now this. Why, after all this preparation in trying to adopt, do we find out things so hideous, so heartbreaking?”
“I don’t know, love. You’d think the agency would’ve told us that this girl had been adopted and sent back seven times, that she had been physically and sexually abused, that she hasn’t responded to therapy. I just don’t know what to do.” Gary wrapped his arms tighter around the softness of Helena’s body.
“We can pray. That’s the only thing we can ever do.” A wan smile creased her lips.
Happy are those who are sad, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4, The Bible in Basic English)
“You snot-eating pig!” Taz, a brawny 13-year-old with curly black hair and fists the size of a prizefighter’s, continued to pummel Bradley with punches and kicks. “Take that, spineless weasel!”
Three other boys, obviously followers of the violent leader, smirked in silence as Taz did his thing.
“If I ever see you looking at me again, preacher boy, I’ll make it so your eyes cross permanently.” Taz paused and turned to his minions. “Come on, guys. I think Bradley Shmadley has learned his lesson. For now.”
Bradley sat up, dizzy and bleeding on the pavement. He knew those four boys would be trouble on the first day of school. They strutted in late, immersed in black, chains, piercings and foul language. It didn’t take long before they figured out his dad was the new church plant’s pastor. Being new was hard enough, but having such bitter enemies already didn’t seem right. He couldn’t steer clear of them altogether, so Bradley tried to show courage and kindness when in their presence. He looked at Taz in class and prayed for him. Evidently, staring didn’t sit right with Taz.
“Dear God, help me show love to those who don’t know what love is.” Bradley staggered home with renewed hope.
Happy are those who are attacked on account of righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven will be theirs. (Matthew 5: 10, The Bible in Basic English)
“Come with us, Susan. We won’t be all night, and that biology final will be a breeze,” Susan’s roommate Dina begged.
Susan hesitated, gazing at the embroidery on her comforter. She came to college not only to get a degree, but to learn to live out her faith.
“Oh, I forgot,” Susan said. “You have to get up early to read that big honkin’ Bible of yours.”
“I don’t have to, Dina. I want to.”
Dina rolled her eyes. “How come you always choose the ‘right’ thing to do? Doesn’t it get boring?”
“Not at all. A life with God is always an adventure, and you never stop learning, never stop experiencing things.”
“Okay, then. But you’re going to miss out on the frat party of the century.”
“Don’t come crying to me when you fall asleep during your final.” Susan smiled now, knowing that Dina would one day come around.
“Yeah, right.” With that, Dina slammed the door behind her.
Susan reached for her Bible and opened it to one of her favorite passages.
Happy are those whose heart's desire is for righteousness: for they will have their desire. (Matthew 5:6, The Bible in Basic English)
The word “blessed” in Greek is “makarios”, which means a sense of God’s approval; happiness.
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