A mother told me a very moving story about her three-year-old daughter, Beth, who was the youngest child in their neighborhood. She toddled after the big kids but understood that they didn’t really want her along.
One day this mother looked out her kitchen window and saw Beth standing at a fence, watching the other children playing baseball. They wouldn’t let her play, of course, and it was upsetting her. Suddenly the little girl ran into the house calling, “Lollipop, Mom! I need lollipop!”
Elaine went to the cupboard and handed the child a lollipop.
“No, no, Mommy!” Beth said. “I want lots of lollipops.”
The mother knew something was up, so she gave the child a handful of lollipops. Beth then ran back to the fence and stood there silently, holding the lollipops out to the other children. She was trying to buy their acceptance—but they didn’t notice her. Finally, one of the bigger kids saw Beth and yelled to the others. They ran over and grabbed the treats away from the toddler and then went back to play without even thanking her. Elaine stood watching at the window with a lump in her throat. The gifts were gone—-and so were Beth’s friends.
How many insecure teenagers give everything they have, including their own bodies, to gain acceptance from their peers? They are left standing at the fence, alone and rejected. These are among the most painful experiences of a lifetime—for adolescents and for their parents. These are times when moms and dads can do nothing to help their children except to stand at the window, praying that God will get them through it!
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