Another little Christmas Tag I made.
I am reading a book by Francine Rivers called: HER MOTHER'S HOPE.
I have to share this with you as it so touched my heart. Hildemara Rose is a little girl, born to an English Mama and a German Papa. It is during the first world war and due to several unnerving circumstances the couple move to the U.S.A. Papa is a devout Christian and reads the Bible to his children. Hildemara is a sweet girl, but of weak disposition and at the age of five gets picked on at school by her teacher because of the fact that her brother was killed by the Germans in the war.
They are not a rich family, having to live in a tent, and during inspection in the morning at school, Hildemara always gets picked on for having dirty hands or hair, by her teacher. She is humiliated every time but doesn't talk about it to her parents.
One evening Papa reads the Bible about how Jesus was crucified on the Cross and about loving your enemies. Hildemara thought about it - did that mean she had to love her teacher although her teacher hated her? Pray for those that persecute you, Jesus said. What did that word mean she thought? Mama had said that it meant that its when someone treats you cruelly, when they spitefully use you. Her Papa said that 'Jesus was treated cruelly, when He was nailed to the Cross. He prayed for the people who put Him there. He asked God to forgive them because they didn't know what they were doing'. Papa continued talking to his little daughter 'God says if you love only those who love you, then you're no better than those who are cruel to you. If you are kind only to friends, you are no different than your enemy'.
Hildemara didn't want her parents to be sad for her so she started praying for her teacher that she would be nice to her, because maybe she didn't know what she was doing either. The prayers didn't change anything, in fact it all got a whole lot worse. The next day, the teacher made a spectacle of her in front of all the other children. Papa had told her to forgive but forgiveness wasn't easy, not when the same thing happened over and over again.
With the new school term, Hildemara's sister Clotilde went to school with her for the first time. Hildemara was dreading going back to school and was scared for her sister, but Clotilde was prettier than she was so she hoped that she would be spared the teachers wrath. Once again, Hildemara got pulled by her hair by her teacher yanking her from her seat. Clotilde ran from her seat screaming at the teacher to leave her sister alone and kicked her in the shins. Hildemara grabbed her sister's hand and fled from the classroom. 'Why did you kick the teacher Clotilde? Papa says we aren't supposed to hate anyone; people were mean to Jesus too, and He didn't kick anyone. We have to be kind to her no matter what she does. Her brother got killed in the war, she hates us because Papa's German. We have to pray for her, she's very sad and angry. I've been praying for her for two years now, she doesn't know what she is doing.'
Very soon the Headmaster of the school found them and took them home and explained what had happened to Hildemara's Papa.
That evening Papa lifted Hildemara onto his knee, brushed back her hair and kissed her cheeks. 'Mrs Ransom won't be your teacher anymore. She quit her job.'
'She hates me Papa, she's always hated me!'
'I don't think she hates you anymore, said Papa.'
Hildemara's mouth wobbled and she burst out crying. 'I prayed for her Papa. I wanted her to like me. I prayed and prayed and my prayers never changed anything.
Papa pressed her head gently against his shoulder. 'Prayers changed you, Hildemara. You learned to love your enemy.'
That last sentence so touched me!! Our prayers will not always change other people, the circumstances, the World - but they will change us!