Just one small Apple

And Jesus


Jimmy felt sorry for his new 'poor' friend, until he found out that he wasn't so 'poor' after all.


"Get your hand out of that cookie jar!" Jimmy's mom yelled.

He took off like a flash, empty-handed, and ran back outside to play. Well, "empty-handed" maybe, but he had managed to quickly stuff three cookies into the front pocket of his shirt. Jimmy couldn't understand what had gotten into his mom lately. She never used to yell at him before, or care how many cookies he grabbed ! That is, not before his daddy got his 'pay-cut' at work.

There weren't as many extra 'treats' around the kitchen as there used to be. Jimmy was used to being free to grab as many cookies as he wanted every day after school.. or any other treat his mom had around the kitchen.

When Jimmy heard his mom calling him to come in for supper later on, he ran in and quickly washed his hands. When they were all seated at the table, his dad looked over at him and then cleared his throat. The way he always did when he had something 'important' to say to him. And it was usually when he was in trouble for something.

"Jimmy, there's something I want to talk to you about", his dad told him. "We're going to have to cut some corners around here for a while, so I won't be giving you any more allowance each week until things get better". "And when that ice-cream truck comes around every evening, you'll have to skip that too." "I'm sorry son, but that's the way it has to be for a while, " he said. "But I know things will pick up at work again pretty soon. Jimmy just looked at his dad in a rather sad way and said, "Ok dad."

After supper, Jimmy went off to his room to get ready for bed. "Golly, no more cookies, no more ice-cream, and no more allowance !" he mumbled to himself. "Just how much can a kid take, anyway !"

"It's just not fair!" he whispered under his breath, "every other kid gets to have ice-cream and allowance and plenty of cookies and candy whenever they want!"

At school the next day, his teacher introduced a new student to the class. His name was Kevin and he was to sit in the empty desk next to Jimmy. He looked small for his age, Jimmy thought. He hardly looked ten years old, much less twelve. Everyone in class was staring at Kevin because of the way he was dressed. Not nice like the other students, but dressed in torn and shabby looking clothes. Like a poor orphan boy or something. Kevin sat down at his desk and looked over at Jimmy and said "Hi." Jimmy said "Hi" back and then both boys opened up their books and began their lesson for the day.

Later on at lunch time, on their way to the cafeteria, Jimmy decided to invite the "new boy" to sit with him. After they were seated, Jimmy opened up his lunch box. His mom had packed for him a ham and cheese sandwich, four Oreo cookies, a bag of chips, and an orange. When Kevin opened up his lunchbox, Jimmy noticed that all he had in it was one small red apple. "Gosh Kevin, is that all you're gonna eat?" Jimmy asked with a note of surprise. "Oh, it's okay, that's plenty for me," Kevin answered.

"Come on, Jimmy, let's hurry up so we can go outside on the playground!" Kevin said, as if he hadn't a care in the world. So Jimmy quickly ate his lunch and Kevin ate his small red apple and the two boys went outside to enjoy what little time of recess they had left. For the rest of the week, Jimmy and Kevin sat together at lunch-time.

And for the rest of the week, all Kevin ever had in his lunchbox was one small red apple. Jimmy felt sorry for him and he didn't understand why that was all he had to eat every day for lunch. When Friday came, Kevin invited Jimmy to come over to his house on Saturday. Jimmy said that he would ask his mom and dad that night, and if it was okay, then his dad would drive him over.

"Ok, here's my address Jimmy" Kevin told him. "Well, just give me your phone number and I'll call you tonight and let you know if I can come or not" Jimmy replied. "I'm sorry but we don't have a phone yet, so just take my address and I hope I see you tomorrow! " Kevin called out as he ran off to catch his school bus.

Jimmy's parents gave their permission for him to spend Saturday at his new friends house. His dad drove him over that day. He wanted to meet Kevin's parents before he dropped his son off.

When they pulled up in the driveway at Kevin's house, Jimmy's dad looked over at him and asked him to go knock on the front door. He told his son that he'd just wait outside for one of Kevin's parents to come out. Jimmy said okay and went on up to the front door and knocked. What Jimmy didn't know was that his dad, out of kindness, didn't want Kevin's parents feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable, with him coming into their home. It had been a long time since Jimmy's dad had seen such poverty. "What a hard life they must have", he thought to himself. It was a small house, hardly even big enough for two people. It looked more like a shed. The paint had worn off and the one car parked next to the house looked to be in such bad shape, he doubted it would even run. It didn't look like it would even make it down to the first block.

Within a few minutes, Kevin's dad came outside and walked up to the car to shake Jimmy's dad's hand. Right away Jimmy's dad noticed that he was freshly shaven and looked very neat and clean. Not at all what he might have expected. Well after all, it was obvious that they were "poor" and didn't "have much"

The two men introduced themselves and then Kevin's dad remarked that it sure was nice that his son had already made a new friend. The two men talked for a few minutes and then Jimmy's dad told his son goodbye and said that he'd be back to pick him up by six-o'clock that evening.

Jimmy and Kevin went off to an empty field nearby, to catch some bull-frogs. "There are always a lot of frogs out here to catch!" Kevin told his new friend. They'd brought along a shoe-box to put them in. They had punched holes in the lid so their frogs could breathe. After they chased frogs for a while, they sat down on the grass and began eating the sun- flower seeds they'd stuffed into their pockets. "Your mom and dad sure are nice, Kevin" Jimmy told his friend. "Maybe you can come over to my house next Saturday and spend the day," he added. "Sure, that'd be great" Kevin replied. The two boys spent the remainder of the day chasing frogs and climbing trees.

The following Monday morning, as Jimmy's mom was packing his lunch box, he walked over and stood next to her. "Mom, could you do something for me" he asked. "Could you pack a few extra cookies in and maybe an extra sandwich, too?" "Why Jimmy, you can't eat that much !"

"No, mom, it's for my new friend Kevin." "Every day at lunch, all he ever has to eat is one small red apple." "Alright Jimmy, I guess I can do it this time, but I won't be able to every day". "Thanks mom !" Jimmy yelled as he headed out the front door to go wait for the school bus.

That day in the cafeteria, Jimmy and Kevin sat down and opened up their lunch boxes. As usual, Kevin took out his one small red apple. Jimmy looked at him and said, "Hey Kevin, you know what? My mom put an extra sandwich in for me today". "And she also put in way too many cookies for me to eat !" "So here, you can have them, 'coz I can't eat near that much." Kevin looked at his friend and said, "Jimmy, you don't have to feel sorry for me." "I'm not mad at you though, and I'll eat the sandwich and those cookies", he added, 'but there's something you have to do for me, if I do." Jimmy looked at him in a puzzled way, and asked "What ?"

"Well, Kevin told him, "you have to let me tell you about my Friend." "I know you saw my house and you know how poor we are, but you don't know about what we do have",

"What are you talking about Kevin?" Jimmy asked, thinking that his friend sure did talk funny. "Well, you can't see it, but it's right here inside my heart", Kevin told him.

"Well what is it?" Jimmy asked.

"Jesus lives inside my heart Jimmy, and He's always gonna be there." "Jesus is God's Son and He died on a cross for all the sinners in the world", Kevin said. "Well, what do you mean, for the sinners?" Jimmy asked. "A long time ago, some men nailed Jesus up on a cross and He shed his blood and died for everyone. He took our place on that cross." "And He Paid for all our sins" Kevin continued. "But how do you get "Saved", Kevin?" Jimmy asked. "Well, you have to Believe and Trust in Jesus and ask Him to come into your heart," "You have to want Jesus to take over your life and you have to really be sorry for all your sins". "It's by FAITH."

Kevin talked to his friend and continued to tell him about his Saviour, until the bell rang. Now it was time to go back to class. That night at home, Jimmy told his parents about everything Kevin had told him. His parents had never had that Personal experience with Christ so they had no answers for their son.

Jimmy went off to bed that night still thinking about everything that Kevin had said to him that day at lunch. His friend did seem happy and he didn't even seem to mind very much when kids at school made fun of him. It was like he had some special 'friend' with him all the time....one that you couldn't see, but yet knew was there with him somehow.

That next Saturday, Kevin's dad and mom drove him over to Jimmy's house. They both got out of the car and walked up to the front door with Kevin. Jimmy answered the door and invited them in. After the introductions, Jimmy and Kevin took off outside. Kevin's parents sat down in the living room to visit for a while with Jimmy's parents. The four of them really seemed to hit it off very well, and all seemed to enjoy their visit. As Kevin's parents were saying goodbye and getting ready to leave, they invited Jimmy's parents to visit their church that next morning. Their answer was, "Well, we'll see.....maybe." and left it at that. The two boys had a great time that day and both were disappointed when it was time for Kevin to go home.

After Kevin's parents came and picked him up, -in the 'old car' that really DID run, Jimmy walked in the kitchen to get a glass of milk. He could hear his mom and dad talking in the living room. They were discussing their invitation to visit Kevin's church. Jimmy really wanted to go, and he had been invited as well, by Kevin that day. "Mom...dad, I really would like to go to church in the morning!" "Couldn't we go....please ... the three of us ?" Jimmy asked earnestly. To Jimmy's surprise, his parents both agreed that they would do just that.. they would go to church. After all, it wouldn't hurt them to go to church every now and then, would it ?

That next morning would be a day that Jimmy and his parents would never forget. They had never heard God's Word before... but they heard it that morning. Neither Jimmy nor his parents had ever felt God's Holy Spirit tugging at their hearts....but they did that morning. They had NEVER before Repented and Trusted in Christ, but this family of three did, that morning. That morning there were tears shed. From this family of three, were hearts opened up to God. Hand in hand, dad and mom and son prayed down on their knees. And the angels rejoiced in Heaven that morning.

Three weeks later at school, while sitting in the cafeteria, Kevin had some good news for Jimmy. His dad had found a better job at a construction plant, just outside of town. Jimmy noticed when Kevin opened up his lunchbox that day, that he had a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich AND one small red apple. But Kevin didn't seem any different that day than he always was.

Jimmy was remembering how he had acted the day his dad had told him he wouldn't be getting any more allowance for a while. He was remembering how mad he'd gotten when his dad had told him there would be no more ice-cream truck 'visits', and no extra goodies around the house for a while. Jimmy felt ashamed of himself now. And all the while his new friend had seemed so happy and content with what little he had. Only he had something special-something more important than Jimmy had ever had. But now Jimmy had it too! He had Jesus living in his heart too now ! He had Salvation! "The most important thing in the whole wide world ! "

That night, just before bedtime, Jimmy and his mom and dad gathered together into the living room. Things were different at home now. Jimmy's dad read the Bible aloud to them every night after supper now. And every night now too, his dad led them in prayer, before bedtime. Jimmy sure was glad that he'd met Kevin. He figured God must have sent Kevin and his family- just to plant a seed. After his dad was finished praying, they said goodnight.

Before going to bed, his mom asked "Jimmy, how about a glass of milk and some cookies?" But Jimmy's reply was, "No thanks mom, I'm saving those for Kevin to have at lunch-time tomorrow." "He has a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich every day now to eat, and an apple, but he doesn't have any cookies to go with it," Jimmy told his mom, 'so I'm gonna share mine with him.'

"Coz mom, he shared his special FRIEND with me !" "And I'm never gonna get mad again when I can't have allowance or extra cookies ....or even ice-cream !"

Author/Short Story written by:
Tammy Boatman-Young





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