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I would like to tell you a story about how a little girl helped the neighbor bully change his ways. The bully's name was Todd; his parents were divorced, and he was left to fend for himself. He's rude, and for an eight-year-old he can swear pretty good. When he comes over to Heidi's house, the quiet surroundings can turn quickly into chaos with fighting, crying and disobeying rules.

But Heidi didn't cut Todd out from her circle of friends. Instead, if Todd swore, she told him it was wrong. God didn't like that. If he started a fight, she told him he'd have to go home. And on Sunday morning, she would collect two children's bulletins and two Bible-in-life pictures, and she takes one set of each to Todd. She's even taken him to Bible School.

Heidi has not weeded out the bully. And Todd tries hard to be good. He's more joyous now, more alert and he plays well. He has more fun playing that fighting. He and Heidi have even talked about Jesus and Bible stories.

Todd needed some help with his repentance. He needed someone who was willing to care for him, not in a judgmental way, but in a loving caring way. Todd is less of a weed now among the children on his street. Thanks be to God who continues to cultivate, to glean and harvest.

(Source: from a sermon by Tim Zingale, "Are You A Weed?" 7/14/08,

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