The Lord sent me a story that I have to tell you. There will be no pictures, except for the ones in your mind. Don’t let the title fool you, it’s not all about hate. It’s about the circumstances that hate can bring us to. Let’s begin…
In a small town, not unlike many of our own, hate can rear its ugly head, but there’s always someone who steps up to stop the hate, with a simple gesture. There was a young girl named Lisa, she was a cute 11 year old, but small for her age. She seemed sickly, but her parents took her to many doctors and they all said she was in good health. What they didn’t know was she was lonely and withdrawn.
Her parents loved her immensely, but they worked so much they didn’t get to spend much time with her, and she didn’t have any siblings. The only close friend she had was the babysitter, Jenny. She was a high school student, that had known Lisa since she was a year old. Jenny’s parents didn’t let her start babysitting Lisa until she was a Freshman in high school. They felt she was responsible enough to do the job at that age.
Jenny adored Lisa, she was like a little sister to her, since she was the only girl among three brothers. Jenny and Lisa’s parents knew each other and had spent a lot of time together, so they were very comfortable with the arrangement. They did all the things that girls do, laughed about boys, ate too much candy, played dress up and talked a lot.
During the summer break one year, a new family moved into town. No one knew who they were or where they came from, but there was some thing strange about them, almost creepy. Time went by and you would see them around town, when you spoke to them, they were always harsh and very unfriendly. This small community wasn’t used to people being like this, it was very unnerving.
They had a son named James, he was about the same age as Lisa, but he was big for his age. He was much bigger than most of the kids in the neighborhood, but the most terrifying thing of all, he was a bully! That summer was not a good one at all for the neighborhood or the town. James would tease the other children, push them down, take things from them and he beat up the ones who tried to stand up to him.
He saw Lisa one day and decided to focus his attention on her. He called her skinny and told her she was ugly, of course this hurt her feelings and she cried and went home from the park. She was devastated, but she hid this from her parents. Later that day when Jenny came, she confided in her. Jenny, being the sweet soul she was, held Lisa as she cried while she was telling her this.
Jenny was a Christian, and she knew that Lisa’s parents didn’t go to church and they didn’t require Lisa to go. At that moment Jenny asked Lisa if she knew who Jesus was, she said ” no, I’ve heard that name, but I don’t know who He really is.” Jenny knew she was taking a chance telling her about Jesus without her parents knowing or asking them if this was okay. She always carried her bible with her wherever she went, she sat Lisa down beside her and began to tell her about Jesus.
Lisa’s eyes began to fill with tears, she said ” I want this Jesus in my life.” Jenny gave her a simple scripture to say, and she repeated it. Jenny told her ” all you have to do is believe He’s in you, He will do the rest.” Over the next few weeks when Jenny would come over, they would talk about Jesus and read about all the things He did.
Slowly you could see a change in Lisa, she stood a little taller, smiled all the time, she was happy. Her parents even noticed the difference, and they asked her one day, she had the courage to tell them that she had Jesus in her!! Her mother cried at this because she didn’t know Him either, she hugged Lisa so tight and spun her around, her father hugged them both. From that point forward they all started going to church, every Sunday!!
One day after school, Lisa was on her way home and she saw a crowd of children standing around, slowly she walked over. It was James, punching and kicking another boy, the kids were yelling for him to stop, he shouted “no body can stop me!!” All of a sudden a voice in the crowd said “I can.”
Startled, James looked up and it was Lisa, he saw how pretty she was and he stood up. He said ” how you gonna stop me skinny” and laughed. Lisa looked at him and said “can I give you a hug?” “what” James said, and she repeated what she said, “can I give you a hug?’ she held out her arms and started to walk toward him. One girl grabbed her arm and tried to stop her, but she pulled away and said “it’s okay, I’m not scared of him”.
She stood in front of James with her arms out waiting for him to hug her, smiling at him. So he put his arms around her, for a second he was taken in by her wanting to hug him, but in an instant it changed, he started to squeeze her, he thought ” if is squeeze her hard enough she’ll scream and cry for me to stop, but that’s not what happened, Lisa never said a word.
While James was squeezing her, she could hardly get her breath, but suddenly a feeling of peace came over her, and she relaxed and thought about her Jesus and what He meant to her. She gently put her arms around his neck.
He squeezed so hard her broke her ribs, but she never cried out in pain. When he saw she wasn’t going to cry out, he let her go. She smiled at him, turned and took a couple of steps and collapsed in the street. One of the other children ran to her house and got Jenny, she was waiting for Lisa to come home from school.
When she got there she screamed “Lisa!!!” James was kneeling beside her holding her hand, tears streaming down his face. He said, I didn’t mean to hurt her, I just wanted her to cry!! Lisa looked up at him, smiled and said “Jesus loves you and so do I”, they rushed her to the hospital, but sadly she died.
The town was never the same, Jenny moved away and went to college, Lisa’s parents, literately grieved themselves to death, they are buried beside Lisa. One year Jenny came back to visit her town, to see if it had changed after many years of trying to forget about that day and Lisa. She went to visit friends that were still there, trying to have a good time, but that was not to be. So the only place she found comfort and solace was the church, so she decided to go that Sunday.
The pastor she had grown up with for so many years, was old and getting ready to retire. The new pastor that was to take over the congregation was in church that morning. Jenny looked at him, he looked strangely familiar, but she wasn’t quite sure where she had seen him before. Service was lovely this particular Sunday, as he was introduced to the church, she gasped, Pastor James is my name, he stated to the church.
I lived here many years ago, he said, I was a bully, a mean kid. Enough of that, let me start by telling you how I found Jesus, it was because of a little girl named Lisa….and a hug.
Have you met your Lisa?
Please leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you, Thanks.