“Did you see her? She’s so tall!”
“She’s almost a giant,” the other girl snickered.
Sandy’s cheeks flamed red with embarrassment. “Oh, why did I grow so tall
over the summer?” she moaned.
In the lunch area, she found Jan and Amy, her friends from last year. It
looking down at them. It was REALLY different being able to see over their
heads. It was only a moment before they suddenly exchanged fidgety glances
and left in a rush.
The day was ruined! The whole year was ruined!
Fighting back tears, Sandy pretended everything was normal until the long
day back to school ended. Then she hurried home and threw herself on her
bed and let her tears flow. “Dear Jesus,” she whispered, “I’m different and
out of place now. Why did I grow so tall?”
Something warm and fluffy brushed against her. “Hi, Maggie.” Sandy ruffled
the fur of her orange cat. “You’re small and cuddly. And I’m like Gulliver
in GULLIVER’S TRAVELS. I’m a giant!”
The cat rubbed against her, purring softly.
Sandy smiled tearfully. “I’m suffering and you want to be petted. You’re
unbelievably selfish, but I love you.”
Mike, her seventeen-year-old brother, stuck his head in the doorway and
grinned. “I couldn’t help overhearing,” he said. “You love me even though
I’m unbelievably selfish. Thank you, thank you!”
Sandy hurled her pillow at him. “Ooh, you weren’t supposed to be
Mike caught the pillow. “Someone,” he said softly, “has been crying on your
Sandy picked invisible specks of lint from her jeans.
“If you don’t want to talk about it, I think I can guess,” Mike said.
“No, you can’t. Nobody understands what I’m going through.”
“I’m still a teenager.” Mike grinned teasingly. “Even though I look and act
like a dashing young man.”
“You’re a boy!”
“Sometimes, but being short and cute and sensitive has its advantages.”
Sandy still didn’t look at him, as he sat beside her. “Well, being the
tallest girl in class has no advantages I can see; starting with your SHORT
friends not liking you anymore,” she mumbled.
“Remember last year when I had that physical before I became a church
camp-counselor for the boys?”
“I asked Dr. Johnson something I’d been worried about for a long time.”
Mike smiled at his memory. “‘Doc,’ I said, ‘I’m one of the shortest guys in
my class, and I feel lousy about it. Am I going to grow anymore?'”
“What did he say?”
“He showed me a growth chart and said I was in about the tenth percentile.
That means 90 per-cent of the guys my age would be taller than me. Since
I’d passed my growth spurt, I probably wouldn’t grow much taller. He said
he wouldn’t recommend a career in basketball!”
Sandy gasped. “Why’d he say that?”
“He was being honest. He didn’t want me kidding myself. He put his hands on
my shoulders and told me, ‘The world is made up of tall people, short
people, white people, black people—all kinds of people. You are what you
are. You can spend your life wanting to be something else. Or you can
accept who you are and be a happy person who will bring love and happiness
to others. You can choose for yourself.'”
“That’s deep!” Sandy whispered.
“Right,” Mike said rising. “I’ll never forget it. That’s why you see me as
I am. On the small side, but otherwise perfect.” He beckoned playfully.
“Stand up. Now, look at you,” he said, drawing close, “you aren’t as tall
as I am. You’re a shrimp.”
Sandy didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. “The girls think I’m a giant.”
“They’re probably wishing they were taller,” Mike said with a mischievous
chuckle. “They know you’ll be great in sports like basketball and soccer
and don’t forget track.”
“It’s true.” Mike smiled and headed for the door. “We older people know
As Mike closed the door Sandy looked over at the picture of Jesus on her
desk. “Thank you Jesus,” she said sighing. “Thank you for giving me an
understanding brother like Mike. He’s just what I needed today.”
As she took out her homework the phone rang. “Hi, Sandy. It’s Jan.”
“Oh, hi, Jan,” Sandy said cautiously.
“Sorry we had to rush away so quickly today. Amy and I had to hurry to the
library to check out some books for a social studies assignment. But let’s
all eat lunch together tomorrow and get caught up on what’s been going on.”
“Well, sure,” Sandy said, in a warm glow of happiness. She’d been wrong
about the girls! “I’ll see you at lunch.”
Sandy hung up the phone smiling. Tomorrow would be a much better day.
“Thank you, Jesus, for showing me I didn’t lose my friends,” she whispered.
“And I’m not going to worry about being tall anymore!”