Stories for Children
(Based on the Bible)
By Kathleen Donavan
Chapter Seven - Why Do They Hate Me?
Linda got off the school bus and walked rapidly to the east entrance of her building. She entered the covered walkway and realized that she was being pulled behind the large brick pier that held up the roof. She was startled and gasped in disbelief that this was happening! She was flung around and found herself looking into the face of a couple of high school girls.
"Just be quiet and we won't hurt you", the one with green eyes said.
Linda called out for her brother but didn't even get the name out before the dark headed girl twisted Linda's arm behind her back and said, "Shut up"
The other girl who had opened her back pack was pulling out her lunch money and stuffing it into her own blue jean pocket.
"If you tell anybody about this, we know where you live and we will burn your house down while you sleep." They ran behind the building and Linda stood there shaking.
Linda went through the double doors of the building and entered the girls rest room just to the right of the door. She turned on the cold water and washed her face with a paper towel. She held her reddened arm under the running water for a while but the red didn't leave her arm. She thought she must have done something wrong for this to have happened to her. Finally she walked toward her classroom which had already started and when she entered, Mrs. Hall, her teacher said, "Come in Linda and take your seat. We are on page 134 of our text book for now."
All morning was sort of fuzzy in Linda's head. She kept thinking about what had happened and going over and over the event and wondering why this was done to her. Time passed and she did not realize that she had finished the three morning classes until the lunch bell rang. She couldn't eat lunch because she had no money to pay and she was afraid to go outside again, so she went into the restroom and sort of stood around until she felt that people were staring at her and wondering what she was doing there for so long, so she went inside a stall, locked the door and just sat there so nobody could see her. Her stomach was churning and she felt weak. She couldn't stop her hands and legs from shaking. She wanted to tell her parents about what had happened but she was afraid that those girls would catch them all asleep and start a fire to their house. If we all die, it would be my fault, Linda thought.
Linda somehow got through the day and walked out with a large group to the waiting busses. She hurried to get on her bus and sat very quietly next to her best friend Caitlin. When Caitlin told her that she was acting "funny", Linda dismissed it by stating that she felt sort of sick.
When Linda got home she went into the kitchen and found a snack.
Linda's Mom noticed that each day Linda came home from school and she seemed to be hungrier than usual. She asked Linda if the school lunches were adequate and Linda assured her quickly that the lunches were fine because she wanted her Mom to stop asking questions.
The next day, the girls were waiting in the same place for Linda and motioned for her to come behind the pier. She just gave them her lunch money because she didn't know what else to do. This went on for a couple of weeks. Each day they took her lunch money and told her to bring more next time.
One morning, after about a week had passed, they told her that she would have to find more money for them. She told them that she couldn't because she had already given them all her savings from her box in her closet. They told her to take it from her parents. She was more upset than ever because she had never stolen anything and she felt terrible about it. She knew that it was breaking one of God's commandments to steal and she didn't want to do that.
Linda's Mom was on the computer when she went into the house and she stopped reading, and said "Hi" to Linda. Linda noticed that her mother looked concerned so she rushed out of the room and flung herself on the bed. She wanted to share the experience with her Mom but just couldn't!
Her Mom came into the room and sat on Linda's bed, rubbed her shoulder and asked, "don't you feel well, Linda, you look a little pale."
Linda rolled over and put her face in her Mom's lap and tried not to cry but she burst out in sobs that shook her whole body.
Her Mother held her, not knowing what to think. She said, "Linda, I see you have been hurt and if you will tell me what has happened, I will do anything in my power to see that it doesn't happen again.
"I can't tell you, Mom, because something bad will happen to the whole family, and it will be all my fault."
Linda's Mom continued to hold Linda and soothe her until Linda fell asleep, then she covered her with a blanket and left the room, knowing that something had to be done about this situation. She went into Tim's room and asked him if he knew what Linda's problem was and he said that he had no idea. He said that he noticed that she wasn't annoying him like she usually did, but that was all he noticed as different.
When dinner was ready, Linda's Dad went into her room to awaken her.
"Hi Pet, if you sleep all afternoon you will miss dinner, don't you want to join us?"
Linda was very weak and slowly got off the bed. She ambled into the kitchen and sat awaiting the blessing on the meal. They passed the food around the table and Linda took a small serving of each food.
Her parents noticed that she was not eating as she usually did but they said nothing, because they were deliberately making an effort keep things stable as they thought of ways to help Linda.
After dinner, Linda went into the yard to play with her English Shepherd puppy, Tip. Tip rolled over and she scratched his belly, then he wanted to fetch the ball. After Linda had thrown a few balls for Tip to bring back, she lost interest and sat on the grass beneath the tree. In a few minutes, Mom and Dad came out. Mom cut a flower and Dad took the pink rose to Linda, handed it to her as he sat on the ground beside her.
"Linda it breaks our hearts for you to feel so badly and we know that nobody is this sad without a reason. Something has happened to cause you to be so terribly upset and we want to help you feel better again. Please trust us to help. Just tell us what is the matter. We won't judge you and we will keep your confidence."
"You mean that nobody will know that I told you?"
"I can't promise to not tell because it might be something we need help with, Linda, but I can promise that we will do nothing to embarrass you."
Linda had grown weary of trying to hide the secret for the girls and she felt she had to try to get it stopped before she was forced to become a thief also. She had broken some of the commandments, but she had never stolen anything in her life and she was glad that she had been able to do this one honorable thing.
Linda told the whole story to her Mom and Dad including the threat of burning their home if she told. She could see the anger enter the face of her parents and tears in their eyes.
"Please don't be mad at me, Linda said, I didn't know this was going to happen."
They explained to her that this was not her fault. They explained that the things the girls had done is against the law. They had committed three crimes. The first crime was assault when they twisted her arm. The second one was robbery. The third one was extortion when they threatened to hurt her family if she told. All of these are very serious crimes. Each one of these crimes can earn a jail sentence for anyone foolish enough to do them.
Since Dad had promised not to embarrass Linda, he had to develop a plan to stop this and to keep his promise to Linda at the same time. How was he going to do both things, he wondered?
That night when the family had bible reading and prayer, each family member prayed for guidance in dealing with this problem. They all went to bed and slept well.
The next morning, the girls motioned for Linda to bring money to them behind the brick pier as usual. She didn't bother protesting. This time she knew that her Dad and Tim had plans, and she felt that she finally had the upper hand. The girls took the lunch money in the backpack and demanded to know when she would get more money from her parents. She told them that she had a plan and they would get something more very soon.
Linda had lunch more money in a secret place on her body and she wasn't so afraid of them now because she had learned they wanted the money and then to leave very fast.
As the girls ran behind the building, they ran right into Linda's Dad, Tim, and Mr. Butler from the Child Protective Service. The girls were apprehended and taken to juvenile lock up where their parents were notified. They were not allowed to leave with their parents because a hearing had to be held first.
Linda regained her courage by the court day and trusted her parents to protect their property from any threats made. She was asked to testify in court to the facts involving her. This was easier to do because once the girls were in jail, other younger school children told of similar things happening to them. Each one of the students were able to identify the same two girls as the criminals.
One of the things required by the court was for the girls to apologize for their behavior. Linda's parents helped her see the way to forgive. Linda was not glad that they had to stay in jail and work on community service projects for many long months and she tried to understand the way to forgive them while they learned their lessons.
The judge said that he must give them probation for so many months. He had learned from working with offending youth that a just penalty had to be paid before a real change of behavior can take place.
Linda had an opportunity to tell the girls in court how scared she was and how it wasn't right for her go without her lunches while they were using her money to buy drugs. She told them that food is good for a body but drugs cause harm to a body and cause people to hurt others.
The girls had been off drugs for a while and were acting more rationally, so they said they understood how Linda felt and promised never to do those things again.
A few days after having testified in court, Linda was with her Mom in a hobby store. She saw a wood burning kit and she told her Mom that she a great idea about how to use it.
Linda spent several days burning her design into the wooden plaque. Tim teased her about "her secret work of art", and she acted like she was ignoring him, but she was thinking how good her work was and she was delighting in the thought of showing it to her pesky brother.
When it was completed, she called her family in to see her beautifully crafted hanging for her wall. This is the message they read.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
Don't hesitate to share these papers with friends and associates, always include this and the following paragraph in all copies. Please ask for permission before reproducing the content in any form.
Copyright © 1999-2014 Freedom Ministry. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole, or in part, without the express written consent of the publisher, Freedom Ministry.
Pastor Dianne D. McDonnell, Freedom Ministry
P. O. Box 976, Marble Falls, Texas 78654-0976 Voice Mail: 512-302-6707