“Hi, Mom!” sprightly 13-year old Emma said. “I was thinking of doing this craft I found online. It looks a little complicated, but I think I can do it! Is that ok?”
“Why, I think that would be a fine idea,” Mrs. Parker said. “Athough, could you take Jeremy to the library first? He’s been pining to go all day.” Emma groaned. Her little brother, Jeremy, was six years old, and the sweetest boy you could imagine. Emma, however, was a little more rambunctious and she got into trouble a lot. She loved her brother, but she didn’t want to delay starting on her craft. “Mom, can’t Riley take him instead? She would probably be willing.” “I suppose I could, dear, but I asked you to. Plus Jeremy loves spending time with you. He looks up to you.” Emma sighed. “Okay, okay. I’ll take him, Mom.” “Thank you, sweetie.” Her mother said as she gave her a quick squeeze. Emma ran up the stairs, two at a time, until she reached Jeremy’s room, who he shared with their older brother, Murray. She gave a quick rap on the door, and then let herself in. Jeremy was sitting quietly on the bed, reading a book. He looked up, and immediately his face broke into a huge grin. “Hi, Emma!! Whatcha doing? Can ya take me to the library? Please??” Emma laughed at the speed of the questions he was throwing her way. “Jeremy, I’m going to take you to the library. We need to hurry, though. Grab a jacket and put on your shoes, please.” Jeremy squealed with excitement. “Thanks, Emmie!!” He gave her a hug and then ran downstairs to put on his shoes and jacket. He was ready in minutes, and Emma followed suit. They started down the sidewalk toward the library. Emma started to speed walk, but Jeremy couldn’t keep up with his short little legs. “Wait up, Emma!!” He called out. “Hurry up, Jeremy!!” Emma said impatiently. She stopped to let him catch up, and he took her hand in his. Emma and Jeremy got to the library in a few minutes, and when they were there, Jeremy went straight to the book rack. His eyes were obviously scanning the lines of books, looking for the one he wanted. To Emma, he seemed to be taking hours. She moved closer to him so he could hear her. “Jeremy! Hurry up! You are taking forever! I’ve seen turtles that can walk faster than you can find a book!” Jeremy instantly looked up, his eyes full of hurt. He quickly looked down again and picked out his book. “Here it is, ” he said quietly. She knew she had hurt him, but she was so anxious to get home, she didn’t apologize or think about the hurtful comment she made. She quickly grabbed the book and walked over to the librarian at the desk. She gave her library card and the book to be scanned. When they got home, Emma ran quickly to the computer to print out the craft while Jeremy walked to the kitchen to get a glass of milk and a cookie. He dropped his book on the table and said, “Mommy, can I have a glass of milk and a cookie?” “Sure, honey.” She retrieved the milk and cookie and set the plate and cup in front of him. Usually he was cheerful and happy, but today he was gloomily silent. He only nibbled at the cookie and sipped at the milk. His mother noticed his mood was different and she gently questioned him. “Jeremy, is something wrong, buddy? You’re not acting yourself. Did something happen at the library?” Jeremy then replayed the event that happened at the library and how “Emmie” had hurt him with her mean comment and how she had been impatient with him. “You finish your milk and cookie, Jeremy. I’ll talk to her.” Mrs. Parker promised. She walked into the craft room, where Emma was humming softly while cutting out shapes from some colored paper. “Emma?” Emma looked up and said,”Hey Mom!! I’m really excited about this project. I’m thinking of giving it to Riley for her birthday next week. What do you think?” “I think that’s fine, Emma.” Her mother paused. “Emma, I just talked to Jeremy and he told me what happened at the library. Why were you so impatient with him?” Emma stopped cutting and looked up. She sighed as she sat down. “I just really wanted to get home so I could get going on this gift. I didn’t mean to hurt him, but he was just taking so slow.” “Honey, I know you probably didn’t mean to hurt him, but Jeremy is very sensitive. He’s not like you, and he is much younger than you. He can’t read all that fast you know. I completely understand how you wanted to get home quick, but do you think the Lord is more pleased with you being kind and patient with Jeremy, or being unkind but giving a great present to Riley?” “Being kind to Jeremy,” Emma slowly mumbled. “Emma, do you remember all the fruits of the Spirit?” “Mhmm. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.” Her mother continued. “I know you can be a bit reckless sometimes, Em, but I also know that you love Jeremy and that you want to be like Christ. Those fruits of the spirits are things we need to practice to help us to grow more like Him. Do you understand?” “Yes, Mom. Thank you. I’m going to go apologize to Jeremy right now.” She walked into the dining room and sat down next to Jeremy. “Jeremy, I’m sorry for being impatient with you and for speaking a hurtful comment to you. I wasn’t being like God would want me to be. Will you please forgive me?” “For sure, Emmie!” Jeremy answered. “Would you like for me to read you this book?” Emma asked. “But, don’t you have to work on your craft?” Jeremy asked. “This is more important.” Emma answered, smiling.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant.
-1 Corinthians 13:4