A love letter to my friend

For kids

Dear Caitlin,

I know you're going through a tough time right now. The kids at school are making fun of you and making you feel bad about the way you look.

I think I know how you're feeling. When I was your age, just like you, I was bigger and taller than all the other kids. And I was quite sure I wasn't pretty. I remember feeling really awful about myself.

But then I found out something quite amazing. I learned from the Bible that I was God's image and likeness, that we all are. I didn't know exactly what that meant, but it sounded like something really important.

I didn't know much about God. But then I learned that I could think about God as having many different names and that each one of these names tells me something different about Him. Names such as Spirit, Mind, Soul, Love, Truth, Principle, and Life. (I learned this from a book about God, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy.) Those names taught me something about me, too, as the image and likeness of God.

I had a long walk to school each day, and I walked alone. So on my walk I started to think about how I was like God. I decided that if God was Mind, I had to be intelligent. If God was Life, I was strong and had enough energy to do all my work. God as Love told me that I knew how to love and to be a good friend, and that kids would like me. But my favorite one was the name Soul. That name told me I was beautiful and happy and graceful.

On my walks I kept thinking, "I'm God's image and likeness, and so I am wonderful. This is what I really am, even if it doesn't seem that way to me or to anyone else. Even if I don't understand how this can be, I know it is true. It says so in the Bible."

Slowly, something changed. I started feeling different about myself. And then I started acting differently - more confident and sure of myself. I wasn't afraid to stand up straight and tall. I smiled and laughed more. And I even looked different. I felt OK about talking to boys, too. (I'd never had a boyfriend before, and then I had several, all at one time!)

This change wasn't just a pretending either. I was really different inside because of what I was learning about God and myself.

The book Science and Health explains what is important, and we can let it shape our lives. It says: "We must form perfect models in thought and look at them continually, or we shall never carve them out in grand and noble lives" (page 248).

Our thinking is like what a sculptor does. The sculptor has a model and looks at it while she carves. Her model helps her shape her work. Having the right model and looking at it are important. If she wanted to create something beautiful, she wouldn't choose an ugly model.

When we think about ourselves as God's image and likeness, that's having a perfect model. Keeping our focus on that perfect model shapes our thought about ourselves, and then it affects what happens in our life. I know this is true because of what happened to me.

And so, Caitlin, you, too, are God's image and likeness. That is what the Bible says is true about you. Keep looking at that, and you'll see how wonderful you really are. Things can change for you, as they did for me.

With love,

Your friend

God can bless you
with everything you need,
and you will always have
more than enough
to do all kinds of good things
for others.
II Corinthians 9:8
(Contemporary English Version)

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