One day after church our little 8-year-old girl jumped into the back of our minivan. I could not help but notice she was being very quiet and she had tears coming down each side of her face. I said, “Sarah, Are you okay? You look a sad.”
She began to tell me how another girl was not being nice to her in her Sunday school class. “A girl made fun of me and said I was ugly and stupid and she did not like my clothes,” she said. I replied, “I can see why that would make you feel sad. What has your mom and I always taught you about people who might try to hurt other people with their words?” She said, “I know daddy…hurt people, hurt people.”
I then asked, “If she is trying to hurt you with her words, what does that tell us about what is going on inside her heart?” Sarah slowly and quietly replied, “She is probably hurting.” I asked, “What should we do to try to help her hurting heart?” Sarah put her head down and reluctantly said, “We should pray for her?” It was obvious Sarah was way too hurt at that moment to try to pray for the other girl.
Each night at dinner that week as a family we prayed for that other little girl, that Jesus would soften her heart and take away any pain she might be having in life. The first couple days either my wife or I prayed and then something remarkable happened in the middle of the week. Sarah asked if she could pray for her. Sarah began praying for her for the rest of that week.
The following Sunday after church we all piled into the minivan. Sarah had a huge smile on her face and said, “Daddy, you won’t believe want happened!” She then explained how when she got to the class the girl walked up to her began telling her how sad she was because her parents were getting a divorce and she has no one to talk to about it. After listening for a short while, Sarah asked her, “Can I pray for you?” The girl said, “Sure.” Sarah then held both of her hands and prayed for this little girl.
Our entire family was blown away and humbled by what the Lord had done in such a short amount of time. I asked Sarah what would have happened if last week she was rude or tried to hurt the girl back. She said she would have probably lost the opportunity to pray with the girl and listen to her.
From that moment on Sarah had become friends with that little girl who once bullied her.
In Matthew 5:44 Jesus says, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…”
Is someone hurting you today with his or her words. Remember, “Hurt people, hurt people.” Ask the Lord for the courage to pray for them this week and see how He responds.
Not a sermon, just a thought.
Rev. Charlie Colgan, Sr. Pastor
Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary, ’05