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Stand Firm

3. Small Beginnings

 

After Larry and his family prayed for Herc, Larry felt like the Lord was leading him to find a way to become Herc’s friend.

 

Larry had no idea what he was going to do, but he believed that God was going to help him.

 

For the next few days, Larry observed Herc during the only time he really had, which was the lunchroom and recess. Larry was not surprised when Herc just sat around and didn’t talk to anyone. It seemed like Herc was purposefully trying to avoid making friends.

 

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One day when Larry got up in the morning, he realized that it was going to be a very rainy day. Rainy days were not much fun at school because they could not go out on the playground for recess. The kids had to stay in the lunchroom and talk or play games on a table.

 

After lunch that day, George and Henry were playing checkers. Larry came over to talk to his friends.

 

Larry said, “Hey, George. You really are very good at playing checkers. I’m surprised that Henry even wants to play with you at all.”

 

Henry said, “I don’t care. I just love having friends. I don’t really care if I win or lose the game of checkers. I just want to have some fun.”

 

Larry said, “I think that’s it!“

 

George asked “What’s it?“

 

Larry said, “I think I know what I can do to become Herc’s friend.”

 

Charlie said, “Why would you want to do that? Herc is a mean, grumpy, unkind person. He doesn’t like anybody. I can’t see any reason why he would want to play checkers with you. Or anybody.“

 

Larry said, “You might be right. But I think I need to try anyway.“

 

Larry walked over to where Herc was sitting all by himself. Herc was staring at the ground.

 

Larry said, “What’s up, Herc?”

 

Herc acted like he wanted to ignore Larry.

 

Larry said, “I don’t want to bother you, but it looks like you’re not very busy right now. “

 

Herc said, “That’s OK.”

 

Larry said, “I was wondering if you could help me learn how to play checkers better. I love playing checkers, but I always get beat by my friends. It’s not much fun losing all the time. Someone told me that you are a really good checker player. And I decided I would come over and see if you would give me some tips.”

 

Herc said, “Actually, you’re right. I love to play checkers, and my dad used to play with me all the time. My dad is a fantastic checker player, and he taught me almost everything he knows about playing the game. But, my dad doesn’t seem like he has any time to do anything with me any more. He got a promotion at work. That’s really good, except he seems to be going on business trips, and coming home late at night a lot. It seems like he doesn’t love me anymore. And I understand why the kids at school don’t like me. It’s because I’m not very smart.”

 

Larry responded, “I don’t think that being smart has anything to do with having friends. Everybody is a little bit different. My sister loves to draw. I love to go outside and look at all of the bugs and things in nature. George seems to be really good at math. God has made each one of us a little bit different than the next person. That’s what makes life interesting. All we have to do is figure out how God made you. Then we will all know that you’re not stupid.”

 

Larry wasn’t sure, but he thought maybe he saw a little smile on Herc’s face.

 

Herc said, “Wow, Larry! I never really thought about it that way. You must be a lot smarter than I thought you were.”

 

Larry said, “I’m not really very smart. When I have something very difficult to do, I ask God who I should talk to. He always leads me to somebody that knows how to help me with my problems. You know, Herc, if you want God to help you, He loves you enough that He will do that for you also.”

 

Herc said, “Well, I’ll think about that.“

 

Larry said, “OK. So, are you up for a game of checkers?”

 

Herc said, “Well … I don’t know … maybe later.“

 

Larry said, “All right. I’ll talk to you later.“

 

Larry was hoping that Herc would agree to do something with him that day, but Larry knew that God had a plan. Larry felt God’s pleasure with him for reaching out to Herc.

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