Ruth liked watching big storms. So when the rain was really pouring down that night, she sat in the front room with the lights off and watched it safely in her house. Suddenly she saw a small figure walking into their cul-de-sac. It was a girl. She had no coat on and the rain was soaking her hair and dress completely. It was clear she was crying.
“Mommy come quick”, Ruth cried out and when Mommy saw the poor girl, she rushed out onto the porch. Ruth came out with her and as she looked more closely, she suddenly recognized the girl. “Oh Mommy, its Shantel!” Shantel was Ruth’s best friend ever and they had been like sisters since kindergarten.
“Go get her Ruth,” Mommy said wisely, knowing that if Shantel was upset, seeing her dear friend first would be the best thing. She watched her daughter rush to the street and embrace her friend and then lead her back to the porch. As the girls approached, Mommy went inside and got some blankets to dry Shantel.
“I ran away Ruth. I am so cold” Shantel said as Ruth brought her to the house.
“Come in. You will get sick out here.” Ruth was in tears – she was so afraid for her friend. Shantel came in and quickly Mommy and Daddy were there drying her hair and warming her. Mommy gave her some of Ruth’s warmest things to wear for a while and Daddy got some of the hot soup they had enjoyed at dinner and the whole family sat with her and made her feel safe and loved as she recovered. Shantel just looked at Ruth’s mom and dad in amazement as she sipped her soup and finally the shivering stopped.
“Why don’t you two girls go to Ruth’s room and play so you can settle down” Mommy said, noticing that Shantel wasn’t talking much with the adults around.
“Why did you run away?” Ruth asked right away when they were in her room.
“I was so afraid. My mom has a very expensive display of glass angel statues. Well, while they were out today, I took one down the play with it and I broke its wing. I think it was her favorite and I knew she would be so mad so I ran away. I was so upset, I didn’t know where else to go so I came to you.” Shantel started crying again.
“I am so glad you came here Shantel”, said Ruth, hugging her friend.
“Your parents are so amazing. They didn’t act mad that I messed up their carpet or anything.”
“Shantel, parents are like that. Your mom and dad are too. Sure, they correct us. We need that. But your mom and dad love you no matter what”, Ruth explained.
“Shantel, your mom is on the phone.” Ruth’s mom called up the stairs. Right away Shantel got scared. Then Ruth’s mom stepped into the room holding her hand over the speaker. “She is crying, Shantel. I told her you were safe but she wants to tell you how much she loves you.”
Ruth and her mom stepped out so Shantel could take the call in private. Finally, she came out, sniffling. She handed the phone to Ruth’s mom to talk to her parents and then turned to Ruth. “She said nothing in the world was more important than me and she wanted me home in my own room where I can be safe and with her and daddy.” Shantel was looking confused.
When Ruth’s mom finished on the phone she sat down with the girls and helped Shantel dry her tears. Ruth’s dad came in and sat down too. “I don’t understand why my mom isn’t really mad I broke her angel,” she told Ruth’s parents.
“Shantel, you have to understand something about parents.” Daddy said. “Your dad and mom love you no matter what. When they scold or try to teach you, that is part of love because they just want you to grow up to be all that God made you to be. But their love is unconditional. That means nothing you can do will make you deserve it and nothing bad you ever do will ever make them stop loving you.”
“But I don’t understand how they can do that” Shantel said, looking to Ruth’s dad for help.
“That’s easy Shantel”, Mommy interrupted. “It’s because that is how God loves us and how God loves you. God is your heavenly Father and He made moms and dad just like Him. In fact, God loved you and me so much, he was willing to let Jesus die on the cross so we can always be in heaven with him. Your mom and dad would die rather than see you hurt, sweetie. That is the nature of God in them.” She reached out to hold Shantel’s hand.
“But I love them so much. I don’t want them to die or sick or get old or even be sad,” Shantel said emotionally.
“Then let’s get you home to them and when you get there, you hug them and tell them how much you love them,” Daddy instructed her. “Then in the future if you do something wrong, you tell them right away and never ever run away again, ok?”
“I promise”, Shantel said and then Ruth and her parents drove her home.
As she ran up to the door and hugged her mom and dad, Ruth said, “It’s too bad about the broken angel.”
But Mommy just smiled and hugged Ruth as she watched. “It looks to me like the real little angel isn’t broken any more and will never get broken again.”