Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gracious Words

(Marilyn here!) "Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

Kimberly stood with her back against the wall, just like all the other girls in her P.E. class, and looked down at her bare feet. It was the second day of school, and she couldn't wait to go home. Yesterday was her first day of middle school, and it was horrible. First, she'd overslept and barely made it to homeroom. Then, she forgot to bring money, even though Mom reminded her a thousand times not to forget. This was the first year she had to change classes, and she got lost twice. Already, she had a stack of homework to do. And that was only her first day.

Even with all that, it wouldn't have been so bad if her friends went to the same school. But they went to Lincoln, while she went to Union. And there wasn't anyone she knew in any of her classes. She felt like a stranger in a strange land. Everyone said she'd love middle school, but so far she didn't love it--at all. And all she wanted to do was stand there, her back against the wall, waiting for her turn to be weighed, and not say anything to anyone until she could talk to her friends that evening. After P.E., she only had one more class--art--which wasn't on her schedule yesterday.

As she stared at her feet, the toes of the girl standing next to her wiggled. Kimberly noticed the girl's toenails were all painted different colors. Then she remembered something that Suzanne, her youth leader, had said last Sunday, when they were talking about Proverbs 16:24. Suzanne had said, "If someone takes the time to wear something special, do something to let them know you notice it."

Kimberly looked again at the girl's toenails. They were pretty, all turquoise and purple and magenta and pink and teal. And she thought of the verse from Proverbs: "Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." It wouldn't hurt to say something nice about them, she thought, and turned to the girl beside her.

"I like your toenails. They're pretty," she said.

The girl smiled. "Thanks," she said softly. "I like different colors."

"Are you an artist?" Kimberly asked.

The girl nodded. "Some people say so."

Then Kimberly thought about the one class she hadn't been to yet, and asked, "Are you taking art this year?"

"Yes," the girl said, "but I haven't been to it yet."

"Me, neither. I bet we're in the same class." Kimberly smiled. "I'm Kimberly."

"I'm Anna."

And that was how Kimberly and Anna became best friends on their second day of middle school.

God says that gracious words are "sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." We never know how our words affect other people. Can you think of someone who needs to hear some gracious words? Who knows--they may lead to a great friendship, just like Kimberly and Anna's!

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