"Lisa is the meanest girl in my class," my niece complained as she showed me a note a girl had written to her.
I explained to Holly that people who are hurting often act as though they are mean and don't like other people. "They are afraid of getting hurt," I said. "But they really need to be loved."
Holly wasn't sure she could love Lisa, but she promised to try. The next time Lisa tried to bully her, Holly didn't walk away in fear. She told Lisa that she wouldn't fight because she loved her and so did Jesus.
That moment of boldness triggered the beginning of a gradual (and sometimes difficult) friendship. A few weeks after this initial incident, Lisa attended church with us.
This article first appeared in the September/October 2010 issue of
Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2010 by Pamela Sonnenmoser. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.