I looked out the window and saw Danny hurrying up the sidewalk. I could tell by his downcast face and stiff gate, he was upset. Slamming the door behind him as he entered, Danny only muttered as he stalked past me to his room and closed the door. I decided to give him a couple of minutes to de-escalate his feelings before I took him something to eat and drink. Hopefully, by then, he would be able to verbalize his feelings.
Tapping gently on his door, I softly called, “Danny? Can I bring you a snack and something to drink?”
After a few seconds, Danny choked out, “I guess.”
Opening the door, I immediately saw that he’d been crying, but was now sitting upright on his bed, stone-faced, staring at the floor. This was not like him. What could have happened to break his heart like this?
“Here you go, Buddy. Have some chocolate milk. I made you some cookies, too. I’ll put them here on your desk.” He took the milk but didn’t even look at the plate of cookies.
I pulled up a chair sat down near him. “Hey, I missed your smile when you got home. I’m thinking something’s happened and it’s bothering you quite a bit. I’ve had my share of disappointments. It always helped me to talk to someone about it.”
His eyes still on the floor; he shrugged and took another drink of milk. I matched his posture and took a sip of my glass of tea, and waited.
Finally, he looked up at me and said, “Mason got in big trouble today, and I didn’t know what to do.”
“It’s hard to see bad things happen to our friends. Is Mason okay?”
“His mom found out he got a bottle of pills from his grandma’s house.” When he said this, I could tell he felt overwhelmed by the thought. “He was showing them to me in his room when his mom knocked on the door. He gave them to me wanting me to put them in my pocket, but then she opened the door.” He stopped then, choking on tears.
“Oh, wow! That’s not good. Then what happened?” Danny’s reaction led me to feel that through no fault of Danny’s, he’d been in the wrong place at the wrong time and trouble had found him.
“She put out her hand, and I gave her the pills. I told her we didn’t take any, and she just looked at me and told me to go home.” As the words tumbled out, tears came as well. He wept broken-heartedly, holding his face in his hands.
“Oh, Danny. This is heart-breaking. She’ll see Mason’s grandmother’s name on the bottle and know they weren’t from you.” Then I stroked his hair and added, “But I know you feel bad for Mason.”
“I don’t know what to do,” he repeated. “I feel like I should help him.”
“All of us need our friends. Mason needs friends, too. What does Mason need right now more than anything else?” I asked.
Danny glanced at the empty glass in his hand, then said, “He needs not to make bad choices.”
“Good answer, Danny. How could you help him do that?”
“By telling him not to mess with drugs or steal from his Grandma.” Danny looked up at me to see if his answer was acceptable.
“You are so right. Would you like me to give you some Bible verses that might help Mason make better choices? A good friend would help him understand that God’s ways are easier than making poor choices.” He nodded his head, his eyes brightening now. I asked him to get a paper and a pencil so he could write the scripture references. “In fact, Danny, the first one is for you. 3 John 1:11 says, “Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good.” God knows things like this will happen in our lives, and He has already given us the answer for those times that we don’t know what to do. And you are doing the right thing by following good.”
“Okay. I could call him later and tell him what they say,” Danny offered. He seemed encouraged to find a way to deal with his feelings of helplessness.
We listed several verses on his paper, and then I asked Danny if he thought it would be good to pray for Mason. He agreed, and closed his eyes and began to ask God to help Mason be wise and to help Mason’s mom to forgive him. I prayed Danny would follow through with his newfound resolve and read the verses together with Mason that night.
“Danny, you are an excellent friend to Mason. Maybe what happened today will turn out to be good for Mason, and he will learn to stop and think about God’s way before he makes more mistakes.”
“Me, too, Nannygranne. Me, too.”
“The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.” Proverbs 12:26
“Do not steal. Do not cheat one another. Do not lie.” Leviticus 19:11
“Never abandon a friend.” Proverbs 27:10
“God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself.” Genesis 1:27 God’s vision for you is good. He made you to be like Him and to live well forever.
“I am holding you by your right hand–I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Do not be afraid. I am here to help you.” Isaiah 41:13
“If you need wisdom–if you want to know what God wants you to do–ask him, and he will gladly tell you.” James 1:5
Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.” John 15:14