Jesus said, “Be light in this dark world.” It is not easy being God’s light, but in the following story, a nine-year-old girl shows us how:
Come with me to a third grade classroom . . .There is a nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk and all of a sudden, there is a puddle between his feet and the front of his pants are wet. He thinks his heart is going to stop because he cannot possibly imagine how this has happened. It’s never happened before, and he knows that when the boys find out he will never hear the end of it. When the girls find out, they’ll never speak to him again as long as he lives. He puts his head down and prays this prayer, ‘Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now I’m dead meat.’
He looks up from his prayer and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered. As the teacher is walking toward him, a class mate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy’s lap. The boy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself, ‘Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!”
Now all of a sudden, instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy is the object of sympathy. The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out. All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk. The sympathy is wonderful. But as life would have it, the ridicule that should have been his has been transferred to someone else—Susie. She tries to help, but they tell her to get out. You’ve done enough, you klutz!” Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting for the bus, the boy walks over to Susie and whispers, ‘You did that on purpose, didn’t you?” Suzie whispers back, ‘I wet my pants once too!’
Who has been a Suzie in your life? Someone who knew what you needed and did it. Can you be a “Suzie” to someone in need?
Often when asked, “What can I do to help you?” most people are hesitant. “Oh, nothing, really,” they say. “I’m fine.” (Perhaps they aren’t sure themselves, can’t make a decision, or don’t want to inconvenience you.) So we need to make an educated guess about what a person’s needs might be. It is helpful to imagine oneself in the person’s shoes and then ask yourself, “What kind of help and caring would I need and appreciate if I were in her or his situation. Then, just do it!