Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FAITH (strong, confident belief in God) (02/26/15)
- TITLE: But Jesus, I Am Afraid
By PamFord Davis
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“But Mommy, I am catching flies on it. Look; here comes a big one!”
“You just ate breakfast. Go play with your big brother.”
“Scott is at leapfrog practice. I think I will go count the lily pads down in the pond.”
“That is a good idea. Come back and tell me how many you found. Then, I will go with you and count them too. If you are right, I will give you a treat.”
Thomas began his trip to the pond, hoping to see his friend Timothy Turtle on the way. He liked to watch Timothy walk and guessed that turtles never got in a hurry. He was. Thomas wanted to do well when numbering the lily pads.
Thomas did not know the big bullfrog calling to him from the edge of the pond. He had never seen a frog so big or heard a Ribbit so loud. His mother had told him not to speak to strangers. Maybe he should go back home but he thought about the treat Mommy promised and moved closer to the pond.
“Hey kid, what are you counting?”
Thomas wished the bullfrog would go away.
“Ha-Ha! What a dumb thing to do!” said the big bullfrog.
Thomas was sad and his tummy hurt. The bullfrog was making fun of him. Then, still laughing he started hopping closer to Thomas.
“Ribbit-Ribbit. I am Bully Bullfrog. You do what I tell you! Understand?”
Thomas did not understand and he wished his mother were there.
Bully the Bullfrog kicked Thomas into the water. Then he pulled him out and dropped him on the grass. “You like that?”
Thomas did not answer. Bully said, “Go and catch me ten juicy flies. You will do that every day. Go, bring me flies!”
Thomas dripped a path of muddy water behind him. He was too afraid to go home and tell his mother. When Thomas opened his mouth to catch his first fly, tears filled his eyes. Remembering that big boys are not supposed to cry, he stopped.
“Jesus, you know Bully is big. I am little. You know everything. Mommy is teaching me about you. She said that faith is learning to trust you. I do. But Jesus, I am afraid.”
His Mommy would have been proud because Thomas counted from one to ten juicy flies. He put each one in his mouth but did not swallow. Scared that Bully Bullfrog might be angry because he took so long, Thomas hopped fast all the way back to the pond.
As soon as he reached Bully, he opened his mouth, stuck out his tongue and dropped the flies on the ground.
Bully said, “If you want to stay out of trouble, bring back ten flies every morning!”
“Yes, I will. I will!” Thomas leaped away faster than he had ever done before. His brother Scott and mommy stood by a blackberry bush and saw him coming.
“I was sending Scott out to look for you. What took you so long?” said his mommy.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” answered Thomas. Then he started crying again. This time he did not care if big boys do not cry.
His mommy picked him up and held him close. “There, there tell Mommy what is wrong.”
Thomas told his mommy and brother all about Bully Bullfrog.
Scott said, “My friends told me that a strange bullfrog had moved to the pond. He is picking on all the little frogs!”
“Boys,” said their mother, “He cannot scare little frogs and make them cry. When your father comes home, he will know what to do.”
That night before bed, Thomas and his mommy and daddy talked about the problem of Bully Bullfrog. His daddy said, “We cannot change Bully Bullfrog but God can. I think we should pray.” Thomas closed his eyes and listened.
“Lord Jesus, please help us. Keep Thomas safe. It is not easy to forgive Bully. We do not know why he acts so badly. Thank you for loving all frogs, even those that do bad things. Amen.”
Thomas fell asleep…
His father woke him up the next morning. “Thomas, Thomas!”
“Thomas, you do not have to be afraid anymore. I found Bully Bullfrog and guess what he told me. He said God talked to him in a dream last night! He is very sorry and promises to not hurt you or any other little frogs.”
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