Grandma always had good advice.
Before long, Genevieve was sitting by her grandmother, watching her crochet. “Grandma,” Genevieve began, “there’s something that’s been bothering me.”
“Yes?” asked her grandmother quietly.
“Well, this new girl at school, Bella, will not speak to me. I say ‘Hi’ to her, but she just looks away. At lunch yesterday, she wanted to sit at my table, and I thought about not making room for her, but I knew that would not be nice.”
“That’s for sure,” said Grandma. “Being a Christian, you don’t want to miss a chance like this for something good to happen.”
“What good can come from someone’s acting mean to me?” said Genevieve with a frown.
“I’m sure if you just keep on being nice to Bella, one of these days you two will be the best of friends. Every morning before you go to school, just say a prayer that you will be able to do the right thing to win Bella.” Genevieve nodded her head. “I guess I just have to be patient.”
Grandma got out her Bible. “You know, Genevieve,” she said, “God probably brought this little incident into your life to help you to grow spiritually.
“I have an idea,” Grandma said, looking up. “Every time you think about Bella, pretend that the two of you are already good friends. It might sound like a game, but God calls that faith. We are showing God that we believe something even though we haven’t seen it happen yet. All of this reminds me of some verses in the Bible.
“Why don’t you look up Galatians 5:22 and 23 while I go into the kitchen,” Grandma went on. “I smell something good in there. I’ll be right back with some warm cookies and milk.”
Genevieve found the verses in the Bible and began reading to herself, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
“Grandma, what does this mean?” Genevieve pointed to the words, “there is no law,” when her grandma came back into the room.
“That means there are laws against bad things such as lying, stealing, and being hateful or selfish, but God has no laws forbidding us from any of these good things. He wants us to be loving, joyful, gentle, and all of these things. You already mentioned that you will be patient and wait for Bella to become your friend. And we talked about what faith means.”
“This is exciting, Grandma!” Genevieve exclaimed. “I never understood this till now.”
“This verse also says, the fruit of the Spirit, not fruits,” Grandmother pointed out as she offered Genevieve the warm cookies. “It’s like all of these good qualities are parts of one thing, just like your body is one but has many parts. We must let God’s Spirit control our lives. When we please Him, He makes this good fruit to grow in our lives.”
Genevieve smiled. “I’m really glad I’m a Christian! Right now I feel that if I just talk to God about this problem, and any others that come, I know I’ll be happy and make others happy too.”
“With that attitude, Genevieve, you will make God happy also,” Grandma told her.
As the day passed, Genevieve did lots of thinking about Bella. In her mind, Bella was already her friend.
Monday morning found Genevieve walking through the school door. As she hurried down the hall, she started thinking about the good things her grandmother had told her. She also remembered the prayer she had prayed that morning, “God, somehow help me to treat Bella like she is special. You gave me something special to share with others.”
During some spare time that morning, Genevieve quickly penciled a note that said, “Have a nice day! Your friend, Genevieve.” She folded it and held it in her hand. Something inside her said, You can do it!
As the students left for lunch, Genevieve waited until Bella left the room, and then she put the note inside Bella’s desk.
After lunch, Genevieve was back in the classroom waiting to see what would happen. She nervously watched for Bella to find her note. Bella finally reached down and began to open it slowly. The smiley face Genevieve had drawn caught her eye, and she read the note. She looked across the room to Genevieve, and they shyly exchanged smiles.
When class was over, Bella and Genevieve met in the hall. They both said, “Hi.” Bella looked down at her books and said, “You’re about the only friendly person I’ve met here.” Inside, Bella was wondering what made Genevieve different.
“I know it must be hard coming to a new school,” Genevieve said as they began walking down the hall. “Let’s eat lunch together tomorrow, okay?”
“Sure!” answered Bella. She had the feeling that Genevieve was a person worth knowing.
As the girls became better acquainted, the good things in Genevieve’s life began to shine through to Bella. Finally, one day, she asked Genevieve what made her different from the other kids at school.
“I’m a Christian!” smiled Genevieve.
“You’re sure a happy one!” Bella commented.
“Is there any other kind?” Genevieve asked.
They both laughed.
Genevieve knew that God had led her to someone who was searching for the same happiness. She felt that something exciting was going to happen, just as Grandma had said.