“As I was growing up, my family wasn’t particularly religious, so when I became a Christian a few years ago, I felt pressured instead of feeling joyful. I wondered if God expected me to read the Bible every day as our pastor suggested, and I wasn’t sure how much or how long I should pray. I even began to worry about the movies I liked, the novels I read, the friends I surrounded myself with. I began to fear I’d never really live up to God’s standards.
“Around the time I began my walk of faith, I gave my kindergarten class an assignment to draw a friend they loved spending time with. One of my students, Jacob, was a ball of energy who rarely followed the rules. So of course, five minutes after they’d began coloring, he was waiving his hand in the air. I sighed loudly assuming he wanted to chat my ear off and walked over to where he was bouncing in his chair.
“‘I’m finished,’ he said, pointing to his paper. I glanced down and saw a drawing of a boy, who must have been Jacob, holding hands with a grown man with long brown hair and a beard.
“‘This is Jesus and we’re BFFs!’ Jacob said joyfully.
“I felt socked in the stomach. Jacob’s love for Jesus was pure and simple. No rules, no worries, no guilt. Just a beautiful friendship that brought him love. It hit me…that’s what it’s all about.
“‘Did I do good?’ he asked, flashing a grin. ‘You did great!’ I exclaimed and hugged the rowdy little student who taught his teacher a big lesson that day.”
—Melissa Henson, 49, Spokane