"God is Always There"
I woke up to the sun gleaming through the window of the car. “Are we almost there?” I asked my father.
“About ten more minutes, Chris,” he answered.
My dad, and my three sisters, and I were moving to Farmville New Hampshire. We previously lived in Canada, but it got too cold up there. We had a small farm, but we didn’t have enough money to take care of the animals. So we sold all of them, kept our dog, sold the house, and came to live in New Hampshire.
Ten minutes went past and we finally pulled into the driveway of our new home.
“It’s so... little,” said my oldest sister Bethany (who is fifteen years old).
“It is a bit smaller then we wanted, but it will work,” said my dad.
“Maybe it’s bigger on the inside,” I said.
“There’s only one way to find out,” Bethany said.
“Get an x-ray machine?” I said
She stared at me not looking amused, while my dad and younger twin sisters, Stephanie and Sophie, (both nine years old), were laughing.
“Or do you mean go inside?” I said.
“The second one. I’ll race you.”
We rushed towards the door with our dog way ahead of us, I was ahead the whole time and I finally made it to the door. I tried to turn the knob, but it was locked! “Dad throw the keys!” I yelled. By then my sister was standing right next to me. I ran to the side and my dad threw the keys. I caught them and ran to the back door I slid the key in, unlocked the door, and stepped inside followed by Bethany. “I WIN!” I said abruptly.
The inside did look a bit bigger then the outside, there was a fireplace in the middle of the biggest room also a couch and a small coffee table, the kitchen was the tiniest kitchen I had ever seen in my life. There was only one floor and there were four bedrooms and one bathroom. My dad and the twins burst through the front door, apparently they were racing too.
“Wow this is bigger!” Sophie said.
“That one over there is you’re room, girls,” my dad said.
“Bunk beds! Awesome!” said Stephanie, “I call the top bunk!”
It was Monday, and we had been living in our new house for a whole week. Things were going ok, most of that week we were unpacking, moving couches and other furniture around. We didn’t have a dishwasher so we would wash dishes by hand. But other than all that stuff, we were starting to get used to it all. Also my first day of school was coming up.
It was my first day of school, and I was waiting for the bus to come. I had never been in a junior high before. Back in Canada, I was still in elementary school, but I was twelve and in seventh grade, so things were changing. The bus came into view. It came to a halt right in front of me. “Have a good time at school Chris,” my dad hollered. I stepped onto the bus.
“Kids, this is Chris. He moved here from Canada, and I expect all of you to be nice to him,” said the bus driver.
I walked down the isle of the bus and looked for a place to sit. Either the seats were taken or kids were saving seats for other kids, but there was one spot where only one kid was sitting. I felt that I should sit with him. I sat down and said “Hi, what’s your name?”
“I’m Ethan, and I assume you are Chris.”
“Yeah that’s me. Mind if I sit here?”
It wasn’t long before we got to school. We were the last ones to get into the school.
A voice from behind me said, “Hey, look! The new kid is hanging out with the dweeb.”
“That’s Zach. You don’t want to mess with him, and he’s a bully.” Ethan told me.
It was time for math class. Ethan and Zach were both in my class.
Half way through math class I glanced over and saw Zach folding a paper airplane. Ethan was sitting in front of Zach. Zach threw the paper airplane over Ethan’s head and yelled, “Ethan, why are you throwing paper airplanes in class?”
The teacher looked up as the paper airplane flew toward her. “Ethan, you know you’re not allowed to throw anything in class.”
“But…” Ethan started. But he turned around and saw Zach clenching his fist. “Yeah, I know,” he said.
“Now if you do that again, it’s off to the principal’s office with you,” said the teacher.
I was angry at Zach for getting my friend in trouble. There was a reason for Zach’s bullying, and I wanted to find out what that reason was.
The next couple of days were filled with Zach’s bullying. A couple of times I tried to stop him, but he always seemed to say something that made me speechless.
It was a Saturday, and my family and I were going to visit my aunt Caroline at her apartment nearby our house. We arrived at the apartment and walked towards the door. In the window of one of the apartments… I saw Zach! He was peering at me wondering why I was here. We knocked on the door of my aunt’s apartment and waited. A few seconds later my aunt opened the door. With a grin she happily welcomed us into her apartment. “Why Chris, you’ve grown taller than me!” exclaimed my aunt.
“Wow, cool.” I tried to act surprised that I was taller than her, but she was very short, and I mean very short.
“Yes, he just had his growth spurt,” said my dad. Just then there was a knock on the door. My aunt opened the door and there was an elderly woman standing at the door.
“Oh hello, Ms. Tampa,” Said my aunt.
“Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t know you had company.”
“It’s okay. Come on in.”
As the woman walked in, I noticed Zach was standing behind her. He followed her in and glared at me.
“Have a seat,” my aunt told them. “This is my brother, Tom Stanly, and these are his children,
Bethany, Chris, Stephanie, and Sophie.”
Zach kept on glaring at me. Something about his glare made him look… almost… scared or… sad.
“We wondered if we could borrow some food for lunch. Just sandwiches would be fine.”
“Sure.” My aunt went to a cabinet, she grabbed some bread and peanut butter. She gave it to the woman. They said thank you and left. “Oh the poor family,” said my aunt.
“What do you mean?” I asked .
“That boy’s name is Zach. The woman is his grandmother. Just two months ago Zach’s father was in a car crash, and he got paralyzed from the neck down.”
“That’s terrible. Is he okay?” Bethany asked.
“He’s in a nursing home now, and Zach doesn’t get to see him very much.”
“What about his mother?” my father asked.
“His mom died two years ago. Ever since then he’s been… different. He used to be a nice kid who always wanted to be someone’s friend He always loved to go to church. But since his mom died, he changed into a not so nice kid who doesn’t like anyone, and I haven’t seen him at church in a long time.”
Everything came together now. Zach’s bullying wasn’t because he was a bully. It was because he was angry at God for all the disastrous things happening in life and was letting the anger out on other kids. Now I knew how to help him become a better kid.
It was Monday. I got off the bus and went into the school. I needed some time with Zach to talk with him. At recess I looked around and saw Zach sitting alone on some stairs. I walked up to him and sat down next to him. He scooted over, I scooted over, and he did it again. We did that until he almost fell off the step. “What do you want?” he asked abruptly.
“I want to know why you are bullying people.”
“That’s none of your business!”
There was a moment of silence. “I already know why you are.”
“Ok then, why am I?”
“It’s because you’re angry at God for all the bad things happening.”
He hesitated for a couple seconds. “Yeah you’re actually right… but why would God let all those bad things happen?”
“I can’t answer that. But I do know that you don’t have to be angry at God. Bad things happen to everyone. Some are worse than others.”
“But God controls everything. So why did he let my mom die? I prayed that she would live, but it didn’t help. And It says in the Bible God answers your prayers.”
“Yes, He answers them but He doesn’t always answer them the way you want them answered. And eventually even the worst things turn out good.” Just then the bell rang. It was the end of recess. I think that conversation went really well, I thought to myself.
The next couple of days were different, Zach was different. The whole school was different because Zach stopped his bullying. On Sunday Zach came to church. And I had a new friend. Yes, Zach Ethan and I were best friends from then on.
(Lesson 8 - Conflict)
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