Sammy’s friend, Phillip, let Sammy in on something major that he’s going through-that he was just diagnosed with cancer and he may be missing a lot of school. Phillip makes Sammy promise that he will never tell anyone about his diagnosis. Sammy pinky swears with Phillip and adds, “If I tell anyone, I promise I will shave my head bald!” Phillip laughs and agrees. Sammy gives his friend a hug and tells him he will be praying for him every day.
That night at dinner, Sammy is feeling down by the news Phillip shared with him at school. His parents notice and ask him what’s wrong. Sammy tells his parents he needs to keep a promise to a friend and isn’t at liberty to say what it is.
Just the other day, Phillip’s parents asked the church to start a prayer chain for their son as he was recently diagnosed with Leukemia, so Sammy’s parents already know what is bothering him. They tell him it’s noble of him to keep such an important promise for a friend. Sammy’s sister, Dahlia, doesn’t like being the only person at the table who doesn’t know what’s going on. Dahlia begins asking over and over for Sammy to tell her the promise he made. Dahlia tells him that it will make him feel better to share the burden, but Sammy knows it’s important to keep his promises.
Dahlia can’t get this out of her mind. All weekend she continues to pester her older brother. Sammy tells his sister a few made-up stories, yet, she never believes him. By Sunday morning, Sammy feels like he can’t take it any longer. Getting ready for church, Dahlia enters his room asking again what he is hiding from her. Before realizing what he’s saying, Sammy blurts out, “Phillip has cancer alright?!” Dahlia’s mouth drops open in surprise and shock. “You definitely shouldn’t have told me that, Sammy!” Dahlia says. Sammy slams his bedroom door in her face, in anger. He feels guilty and ashamed of himself for letting his sister get under his skin and telling her Phillip’s secret. Through tears, Sammy walks to the bathroom and closes the door. They leave for the service shortly afterwards.
Walking into church, Phillip notices his friend Sammy walking through the front door looking much different than normal. Sammy’s wearing his typical Sunday button-up and slacks, but his head is completely shaved. When their eyes meet, Sammy tears up again. In the middle of the lobby, Sammy tells Phillip what happened over the weekend with his sister. Phillip turns and walks away without a word. The boys walk in to find their parents, both boys’ heads hanging low. During the service, the pastor speaks on forgiveness. Sammy prays to himself that Phillip will forgive him for breaking his trust. After the service, Phillip finds Sammy. Phillip lets Sammy know how hurt he is by what Sammy did. He decides to forgive Sammy and rubs his bald head with a laugh. Sammy notices that Philip has already begun to lose some of his hair and says, “remember Phillip, it’s not your hair that gives you strength, it’s God. I know I made that deal with ya’, and I wanna show my support too!”
Bible Verse: Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. -Colossians 3:13 NIV
Note to Nibble: God’s forgiveness is bigger than your mistakes. Choose forgiveness.