Christy slumped onto the bus seat next to her best friend, Melissa. She was holding a crumpled paper towel around her nose, there was a large orange blotch on her shirt, and her eyes were suspiciously red.
“What happened to you?” asked Mel.
“Everything,” Christy muttered. “I’m such a loser.”
“Who says you’re a loser?.”
Christy sniffed. “Today in P.E. we were playing kickball. The bases were loaded, and I struck out. I’m the first kid in history to strike out at kickball!
“I doubt that,” Mel replied.
“Have you ever struck out at kickball?”
“Well . . . no.”
“Thought so,” said Christy. “Anyway, we lost. Some of the guys got mad and started yelling at me. Mr. Johns yelled back at them. He said, ‘Leave poor Christy alone. She can’t help it that she’s not athletic.’”
“Some of those guys are real jerks,” Mel said.
“Well, yeah, but now they’re all calling me ‘Poor Christy.’ Then at lunch I slipped in the cafeteria and flipped spaghetti all over my shirt, right in front of Randy Bennett.”
“Ouch! Tough luck!” sympathized Mel.
“The lady behind the lunch counter tried to help me clean it up, and she kept saying ‘Poor Christy!’ And then I was going down the hall to math class, and Ms. Peltry opened a door right in front of me. I hit it so hard that it made my nose bleed, and Ms. Peltry said. . . .”
“Let me guess . . . ‘Poor Christy’,” Mel interjected. “What a crummy day!”
“It’s not just today—it’s me! I’m a loser! I’m going to be known as ‘Poor Christy’ for the rest of my life. It is so uncool!” Christy tried to drop her head into her hands, but winced when she hit her bruised nose.
“Have you worked on the memory verse for next Sunday?” Mel asked.
Christy moaned. “No, I haven’t even started yet. It’s really long, isn’t it?”
“I’ve got it right here. I think you should read it.”
“You bring memory verses to school?” Christy asked.
“Yeah, I usually have spare time in study hall. Read this verse.”
Christy looked at the paper her friend was holding out to her. The passage was Romans 8:37-39:
In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Christy read through the verse, and glanced up at Mel. Mel was looking at her intently. “Christy, do you realize that this verse is about you?”
“It’s not about me!”
“Go back up to verse 28—um, here it is, on last week’s paper. This passage is about everyone who loves God. Christy—do you love God?”
Christy was caught by Mel’s solemn tone. “Yes, I do,” she replied quietly.
“Then this verse talks about you. God loves you! And because God loves you, you are ‘more than a conqueror!’ That’s like saying that you are better than Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar all rolled into one, because you are special to God. And He is going to keep loving you forever, no matter what.”
Christy felt a shiver as the impact of Mel’s argument hit her. “God really loves me? Even though I’m such a loser?”
“You’re only a loser if you listen to those guys in P.E. God knows you a lot better than they do, and He’s crazy about you!”
“Thanks, Mel. You are such a great friend!” Christy gave her hug, and then lurched to her feet. “Wanna come over tonight and work on the memory verse together?”
“Sure!” smiled Mel. Christy made her way off the bus. She must have tripped, though—Mel saw a toss of blonde hair fly by the window. Everyone gasped, then giggled as Christy got back to her feet and waved feebly at the bus before weaving toward home.
She’s still not “Poor Christy,” Mel thought. With God on her side, she’s one of the richest kids at school. Now if we can just do something to improve her coordination. . . .