True Joy

True Joy 
     is a story about a special boy who befriends a girl from California. 

              “Eww!  You should be wearing a long sleeved shirt.  You hurt my eyes!”  Two popular girls scanned Henry Jones up and down.  Henry didn’t even have anger or humiliation in his eyes.  There was something else that was in his green eyes that stared at the popular girls.  No, it wasn’t a mushy googly eye thing, it was something different.  Even his actions and words displayed nothing but kindness.
At Simmons Public High School, everyone knew, even the newbies, not to mess with the popular kids or the bullies but Cass couldn’t just stand there watching Henry while he got teased.  “It’s still summer, Piranha.  He can wear whatever he wants.  You shouldn’t be wearing that mini skirt.  It’s against the rules and you have that huge ugly bruise on your thigh.”  Cass and Hannah glared at each other until Hannah and her follower decided to leave with disgust. 
“Hey, are you okay?  I heard that girl, Hannah, is really a piranha.”  Cass sat down beside Henry at the picnic table and rolled her eyes.  “I’m Cass.”
               “I’m Henry.  I’m fine, thanks for asking.  And, Hannah can be really nice, you know.” 
               “I bet she can…  So what happened to you?  If you don’t mind me asking that is.” Cass looked at Henry’s scars.
               “Well, I was five years old when this happened, so I can’t really remember everything.  My cousin and I decided to have an old western campout in my uncle’s barn.  Jesse had a stomach ache that night so he had to find his mom.  I think when he left, a horse accidentally bumped against our oil lamp and it fell into the hay while I was sleeping.  When I woke up and saw the fast spreading fire, I started leading the horses and cows out of the barn.  I thought that my uncle saw the fire, but apparently Jesse’s stomach ache was occupying him too.  I got knocked out inside the barn by a falling wood beam, and the next time I opened my eyes I was in the hospital with some burns and a bump on my head.”  He explained coolly with a smile.
“Wow, didn’t it hurt?”  Cass asked as she wondered why he still smiled.
               “Of course, but at least I saved most of the animals.”  He laughed.  “By the way, are you new?  I didn’t see you last year in eighth grade.”
               “Yeah, I just moved from California with my dad.”
               “Cool.  Well, we better head to our classes unless you want to be late on your first day” Cass just nodded and stayed at the picnic table looking up at the sky, still wondering about Henry’s kind behavior.  
Cass and Henry became good friends after a couple of days.  They would hang out at the skate park where Cass would teach Henry moves and Henry would sometimes invite Cass to go to his church.  At school, Cass would sometimes fight the bullies and snap at the mean girls for being cruel to Henry. 
One day, Cass arrived at the school later than usual.  She was excited that day because she just got a Toshiba laptop from her dad and she wanted to show Henry all the cool features it had.  She looked for Henry everywhere at the school yard, even the Dark Alley, where the bullies usually hung out but today they weren’t there either.  Most of the students in the yard were staring at her and whispering to their friends.  “Uhh, why are you guys whispering?”  She questioned loudly.
               “Didn’t you just see what happened a few minutes ago?”  Hannah asked and Cass shook her head.
“Henry just got beat up by Big Ben and now he’s in the hospital.”  Hannah touched Cass’s arm with concern.
               “What?!  Is this some kind of joke?  You guys are so ruthless!”  Cass stormed inside, heading for the office.  In there, the secretary explained to her that indeed Henry Jones was in the Emergency Room at Simmons East Side Hospital.  The hospital was only 2 miles away so Cass just ran.
               “Let me in!  I’m his sister!”  Cass lied to the hospital guard.
“I’ll see what I can do, miss.”  The guard finally dialed Henry’s room and asked if a Cass Hive was allowed to come in since she had been pleading for about 30 minutes and wouldn’t leave.  “The room is #27, Second floor.”  The guard handed her a visitor’s pass.
“Henry!”  Cass exclaimed as she saw him lying awake on a hospital bed with a broken arm and a broken leg and bruises.  “What happened?”  Tears started flowing from her eyes.  She was so worried!
“I’m okay, Cass.”  He laughed.  How could he be laughing right now after Big Ben just pounded him?  “Ben thought I was the one whom he sold the drugs to online and he wanted his payment of $500.  I kept denying that I bought his drugs, so he just pounded me for it until someone finally told one of the teachers.  I tried to fight back but there were so many of them.”
               “I’m so sorry I wasn’t there!  Where are they now?  I’ll teach them a lesson or two.”  She challenged.
               “The nurse said that they were taken to the police station and probably going to be in juvenile detention for a few weeks.” 
“Wow.”  Cass gaped.  “Henry, can I ask you something?”  Henry nodded.  “Why is it that you’re always smiling, even though you’re in pain?”
“This is God’s will for me.  I know He has a purpose for these scars and what just happened to me today.  You think my condition is bad?  They nailed Jesus Christ’s hands and feet on the cross, gave Him a crown of thorns for no real reason, and even whipped and spit at Him.  Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross so that we don’t have to suffer like that for our own sins.  I accepted Him as my personal Savior when I was three and He forgave all of my sins.  John 15:11 says, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."  I have God’s joy in my heart.” He smiled.
               “Wow.”  Cass gaped again.  “Henry, do you think He’ll forgive me too, even if I’m not the nicest person on earth?”
               “Acts 10:43b says, “…that through His name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”  That means God will forgive anyone who confesses and repents, even murderers.”  Henry read from the Bible on the side table and showed Cass a few more passages.
               “Okay, I’ll ask Him, but how do I do it?”
               “Close your eyes and bow your head and confess that you are a sinner and that you can’t save yourself from hell and repent of all your sins.”  Henry instructed. 
They both closed their eyes and Henry listened to Cass as she prayed to God.  “Dear Lord, I only pray on Easter and Christmas and when I go to church which is rarely, so forgive me if I’m doing this wrong.  I know I’m a sinner and I can’t save myself from that awful pit of hell and Satan.  I know you’re the only One that can save me, please do.  I am so sorry of all my sins.  Help me avoid Satan’s temptations.  I pray that I will receive the joy that Henry has.  Thank you Lord for letting him become my friend.  I pray that you will heal him quickly.  Thank you so much for dying on the cross for my sins and being my personal Savior.  Amen.”  Cass opened her eyes and felt a heavy burden suddenly lift off her back.  She felt so fresh and new with peace in her heart!  She smiled at Henry and thanked him before she left.
               So that’s what was different about Henry.  It wasn’t how he looked.  No, it wasn’t the scars.  It was the true joy and love found in his heart and eyes! 
Have you received the true joy and love found in Christ?

1 comment:

Juliet (not looking for Romeo!) said...

Wow. YOu have some true authorness in there, girl! I luv it!