Apple Valley Revival
| The next morning, all the students gathered in Anela's classroom a little earlier than Scott and his parents. Miss Peterson must have something really
important to tell us, Adam thought, as he struggled to find Jordan.
"Hey, I'm over here...it's a straight shot!" Jordan called, as Anela stood to speak.
"Yesterday, some of you asked me why Scott was acting so strange. Some very big things are happening to him, and I'm sure he's really scared."
"Yeah," Bethany spoke from her place beside Nequenta. "He seemed really sad yesterday..." She trailed off when she heard Scott's voice down the hall. He
actually sounded...well, he sounded like Scott!
"Hey, Scott! You look happy!" Isaac said without thinking.
"Oh really? Tell me what that looks like!" Jenna squealed excitedly. Scott actually laughed in response to their comments.
"Yeah," he began his explanation breathlessly, "Brandon and Amy read this story to me last night. It was really cool, and I liked the pictures in it. Then...then
they told me that God thinks I'm special, and He loves me, and they said that God feels that way about all of us, so I just wanted to tell you that.a They
said that God thinks all of you are special, too!" Scott beamed proudly at Amy. He was so glad he remembered everything they said. He couldn't wait to
tell Miss Candice, Miss Emily, and Miss Janell. He might even tell that man, Mr. Lee. He seemed to be one of those people like Brandon and Amy. Then maybe
he could tell his daddy...someday.
"How did all of this happen? three shocked teachers and assistants asked.
"Well...um, I'm not sure what they call it, but..."
"Can you remember what happened after we read the story?"
"Oh yeah...they prayed with me. They said that I just had to talk to God, and tell Jesus that I wanted Him to live inside me, to come into my heart! They said that we all do things that God doesn’t like, but He still loves us. He wants to be friends with us. You know how the Whemmicks in the story had dots when someone didn’t like something about them?” Scott asked, assuming that they had all read the story.
“Yeah, my mommy read that story to me!” Bethany said excitedly.
“Well, anyway, Brandon and Amy said we’re all like that. We all have lots of dots, but they become stars when Jesus comes in. God loves us just the way we are, with all those yucky dots and all. They said they know I’m sad because…um, because my daddy made me move, and my mommy and sisters died, but they said that with Jesus inside my heart…well, they said Jesus could make me happy. He could take away the sadness. They told me that I don’t have to feel all yucky and sad anymore, but when I do, God will help me. They said that He’s big enough to make all those bad things go away, and that He can help me not be so sad anymore. God wants to be friends with you, too—“
“Okay, that’s quite enough!” Anela said rather harshly. The discussion made her feel quite uncomfortable, but she wasn’t sure why. Jane told her of the expression on Scott’s face, and it made it even harder for her to listen to everything he said. He seemed Wso happy, and for that she was glad, but it was the reason he seemed to be different. She didn’t like change, and that’s what this God seemed to do to people. Sure, He made them happier people, but could she?...did she want to?...no, it couldn’t be true.
“You did a good job…you can be sure that God is very proud of you, just as I am!” Amy hugged Scott, and Jane and Anna saw the joy clearly displayed on both faces. When they told Anela of this, she became more agitated.
“So this God is really big?” Shane asked.
“How big?” Jenna asked.
“Well, there is this story about a giant. Brandon said he’s nine feet tall! God made this little boy really strong, so he could get rid of the big giant who was so scary!”
“Wow, that’s cool!” Sierra said excitedly.
“Hey, if this God makes people happy…I want Him to live inside of me!” Andrew began. “Yeah, me too!” a chorus of voices echoed.
“So…all we have to do is ask Jesus to live inside our hearts?” Nequenta asked through her speech synthesizer.
“Yeah! That’s what happens…and then, He makes it easier to live with different things!” Bethany said excitedly.
“Like meningitis?” Nequenta asked.
“And cerebral palsy?” Shane inquired.
“And jumping eyes?” Jenna asked, laughing.
“If God can make me not so angry anymore, and if He can love me with all those yucky dots, He is big enough to help all of you: Sierra with all those shaky things, Zack with the way you talk, Andrea with that stuff like Nequenta…and all the rest.”
“Okay, this conversation is over!” It was only then that Anela was able to speak.
“Okay, we’ll talk about it later!” Scott said excitedly, as he raced toward Bethany, who had a huge smile on her face.
Anela sent her students out for play time with Miss Jenny and Janell, the physical therapist, so she could talk to her aides.
“I can’t believe you just stood there and allowed this to transpire!” Anela said sharply.
“Well, I don’t think Scott was doing anything wrong,” Anna said in his defense.
“We’re Christians, too, Anela. I don’t think you’re really as angry as you sound. You’re just afraid of change, but God wants to help you with that. He doesn’t expect you to get over the fear on your own, He wants you where you stand right now, He wants you to come as you are.” Jane said boldly.
“I saw the things you wrote about Scott’s journal entry—“
“You what, Anna?”
“It fell off of your desk, and I had to rescue it before Andrea rolled over it. I just looked at it to make sure it wasn’t damaged.”
“Don’t question it, Anela. There are things we’ll never understand. Just trust God to make it all clear to you in His time, when He wants to. He won’t ever desert you, He wants you, and He knows everything about you. He knows all about the pain and loneliness you feel, He knows about how you feel empty and you long for someone to love you. He knows the shame you feel because of things you have done and things that have happened to you. He can fill your emptiness, take away the pain, shame and loneliness, and fulfill your longing for the love you’re searching for, but will never find anywhere else.” Jane said.
“Yeah, we would love to pray with you, if you’re ready…” Anna said more hesitantly.
“Okay, I guess it couldn’t hurt, and if God isn’t really there, it’s not like I’ll be too disappointed.” She said, but she wasn’t convincing enough.
When Anela came out to supervise recess, Scott immediately saw the smile on her face.
“Hey, let’s go talk to Miss Anela!” he said to Bethany and Shane. They left the elevated sandbox to Andrea and Nequenta. Bethany almost tripped over Zack’s foot in her haste. Scott reached out to prevent her from falling. When they finally reached Anela, Jane and Anna, they were breathless with excitement and from the exertion.
“Well, I did it, and you helped me, Scott! Amy is right, you did a great job!”
Several students entered Anela’s classroom after play time with smiles, and a new,vibrant glow radiated throughout the classroom. Anela knew her class would be so different after this day, one that changed everything for her.
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