is a good story that shows what great results can come forth when
help and have compassion towards someone who is not receiving the
encouragement they need. I hope this message ministers to your
heart to be
caring and helping towards that one that is feeling down and
The light that you shine is sure to be seen and reflected upon
than you may think.
THE BOY UNDER THE TREE
In the summer recess between freshman and sophomore years in
college, I was
invited to be an instructor at a high school leadership camp
hosted by a
college in Michigan. I was already highly involved in most
activities, and I jumped at the opportunity.
About an hour into the first day of camp, amid the frenzy of
and forced interactions, I first noticed the boy under the tree.
small and skinny, and his obvious discomfort and shyness made him
frail and fragile. Only 50 feet away, 200 eager campers were
bodies, playing, joking and meeting each other, but the boy under
seemed to want to be anywhere other than where he was. The
loneliness he radiated almost stopped me from approaching him, but
remembered the instructions from the senior staff to stay alert
who might feel left out.
As I walked toward him I said, "Hi, my name is Kevin and I'm
one of the
counselors. It's nice to meet you. How are you?" In a shaky,
he reluctantly answered, "Okay, I guess." I calmly asked
him if he wanted
to join the activities and meet some new people. He quietly
this is not really my thing."
I could sense that he was in a new world, that this whole
foreign to him. But I somehow knew it wouldn't be right to push
He didn't need a pep talk, he needed a friend. After several
moments, my first interaction with the boy under the tree was
At lunch the next day, I found myself leading camp songs at the
top of my
lungs for 200 of my new friends. The campers eagerly participated.
wandered over the mass of noise and movement and was caught by the
of the boy from under the tree, sitting alone, staring out the
nearly forgot the words to the song I was supposed to be leading.
first opportunity, I tried again, with the same questions as
are you doing? Are you okay?" To which he again replied,
alright. I just don't really get into this stuff". As I left
I too realized this was going to take more time and effort than I
thought - if it was even possible to get through to him at
That evening at our nightly staff meeting, I made my concerns
known. I explained to my fellow staff members my impression of him
asked them to pay special attention and spend time with him when
The days I spend at camp each year fly by faster than any others I
known. Thus, before I knew it, mid-week had dissolved into the
of camp and I was chaperoning the "last dance". The
students were doing
all they could to savor every last moment with their new
"best friends" -
friends they would probably never see again.
As I watched the campers share their parting moments, I suddenly
would be one of the most vivid memories of my life. The boy from
tree, who stared blankly out the kitchen window, was now a
dancing wonder. He owned the dance floor as he and two girls
watched as he shared meaningful, intimate time with people at whom
couldn't even look at just days earlier. I couldn't believe it was
In October of my sophomore year, a late-night phone call pulled me
from my chemistry book. A soft-spoken, unfamiliar voice asked
"Is Kevin there?"
"You're talking to him. Who's this?"
"This is Tom Johnson's mom. Do you remember Tommy from
The boy under the tree. How could I not remember?
"Yes, I do", I said. "He's a very nice young man.
How is he?"
An abnormally long pause followed, then Mrs. Johnson said,
"My Tommy was
walking home from school this week when he was hit by a car and
Shocked, I offered my condolences.
"I just wanted to call you", she said, "because
Tommy mentioned you so many
times. I wanted you to know that he went back to school this fall
confidence. He made new friends. His grades went up. And he even
on a few dates. I just wanted to thank you for making a difference
Tom. The last few months were the best few months of his
In that instant, I realized how easy it is to give a bit of
day. You may never know how much each gesture may mean to someone
tell this story as often as I can, and when I do, I urge others to
out for their own "Boy under the tree."
By David Coleman and Kevin Randall
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus declares "You
are the light of the world. A city that
is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and
under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who
the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see
works and glorify your Father in heaven."
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 "Love suffers long and is kind; love
does not envy;
love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave
not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not
iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes
hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…"
Luke 6:35-37 Jesus declares "But
love your enemies, do good, and lend,
hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and
be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and
Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Judge
and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be
Forgive, and you will be forgiven."
John 13:34-35 Jesus says "A
new commandment I give to you, that you love
one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one
All scriptures can be found in the New King James Version.
Today's Selected Poem: THIS MOMENT
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/inpoem45.htm
Today's Selected Testimony: WHO WILL DELIVER ME?
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony112.htm
In Christ's Service,
Gods Work Ministry