256 Words

The Heart of Christ

M. Stanley Bubien

The first prayer I ever had answered was when I asked God to give me the heart of Christ. Everyone in Youth Group asked too---I was just going along. I didn't know what I was getting myself into.

The next day, I saw Bag Lady on a park bench, unwrapping and rewrapping some piece of filth, grunting nonsense at anyone who passed too close. I had to hide behind a tree for fifteen minutes before I stopped crying.

If only I'd hidden better.

Wiping the last tears away, I found Johnny Schwalby and two other football players standing over me.

"What's wrong with you?" Schwalby asked.

I jumped to my feet and cleared my throat, "It's... I felt bad about her."

"Let me get this straight," Schwalby scowled, "you're balling like a baby... over Bag Lady?" He blinked at me like a blind man.

"Well," I stammered. "I mean. She's crazy. And she's got nothing and..." my voice trailed off. All three were staring like I was the crazy one.

"You've GOT to be kidding!" Schwalby said, pushing his face into mine. "You... are... pathetic!"

I flushed with fire and clenched my fists. "Please God," I prayed. "I don't want the heart of Christ anymore." But all I did was meet Schwalby's gaze.

He shook his head and shoved me against the tree before leading his friends away.

Of course, I started crying again. It wasn't for Bag Lady this time. And it wasn't for myself either. I cried for Johnny Schwalby and his friends.

Thanks to Christy Farnsworth.

Copyright ©1997 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.

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July, 1997
Issue #15

256 Words