She felt stuck between a rock and a hard place. Or, more accurately, a fear and a dislike.
She could go home early and chance finding her home had been visited again by someone unknown. She no longer felt safe in her house and usually tried to get there late enough that she could go straight to bed, cower under her blankets, and try to fall asleep immediately so she didn’t have to deal with the fear she felt.
Or she could stay where she was, at her mom’s house, for a few more hours. But that would require she watch the stupid TV movie about Jesus her mom was turning on.
Neither option was good. Which was worse? Her fear of her home? Or her dislike of anything religious?
On the TV, she watched as Jesus was born, grew up, and began to preach. The acting was good, she thought, even though she wasn’t enjoying the story.
But that all changed at the first strike of the whip. Her world – the TV, living room, dog, mom, everything – disappeared as she was drawn into the story. She watched Him get whipped then nailed to a cross as if she was there. She almost felt the pain of the nails as they were hammered into his flesh. She felt such deep sorrow as He died.
Suddenly understanding flooded into her mind like light flooding a dark room when a light switch is turned on. She KNEW why He had died! She knew He had died for her sins and the sins of all people. She knew He died freely so they could be free.
Then she watched as He rose from the dead. Again understanding flooded her. He wasn’t dead any longer. He was alive! He was ALIVE! He IS ALIVE!
Her mind and heart on fire, she hurried home, dug out the bible she had been given years before but had never opened, and began reading. She wanted to know everything she could about Jesus.
In the following weeks, she could think of little else besides Jesus. Love for Him filled her completely and He consumed her every moment. She couldn’t help talking about Him to everyone she met.
“He’s alive!” she would say.
“Yeah, we know that,” they would respond.
But she knew by their lack of enthusiasm that they didn’t understand. So she would say, “No, you don’t understand. He didn’t just die, rise from the dead, and go to heaven. He’s alive! Right here with us right now!”
“Yeah, yeah, we know,” they continued to respond.
No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t make anyone understand. Sure, they listened to her – or at least most did – and politely agreed with her. But they couldn’t understand what she was talking about and they couldn’t understand the great love and excitement for Jesus that flowed throughout her entire being. They didn’t understand that her old life was over, and her new life was just beginning.
All they knew was the girl who never smiled had become a girl who couldn’t stop smiling!