Golden Apples

Marsha stood beside the door at the Valentine's Day party, as close to the wall as she could stand. She smoothed her new blue dress and then brushed a curl away from her face. This dress feels funny! she thought.

Just then, Amanda walked in, and Marsha's jaw dropped. Amanda looks cool! she thought. I'm going to look like scum next to her! Marsha began to nibble on her fingernail as many classmates swarmed around Amanda and began chattering up a storm. I'm glad that I'm Amanda's best friend, but I'm sure going to feel funny sitting by her. Next to her, I look plain and dopey!

Marsha and Amanda were best friends, attended the same church, and were both in Mr. Thompson's sixth-grade class at school. Their Valentine's Day party was being held this evening because the teachers and principal finally thought that the kids were old enough for an evening party.
"Hi, Amanda!" Marsha said. I really should tell Amanda how pretty she looks, she thought, but somehow the words just wouldn't come out.

"Hi!" Amanda said. She raised her eyebrows so Marsha would know that she thought she looked really nice, but then turned back to chat with the other kids. Marsha stepped next to the wall and began fiddling with a tie on her dress. I wonder if Amanda thinks that I look dopey, too, Marsha thought.

Jake and his friends came in the door of the gym. They pushed and shoved each other and socked each other on the arm. Just then, Jake stopped. "Hello, snail," he said to Marsha. "Which rock did you come out from under?" and the boys began to giggle and shove and sock each other some more. They drifted over to chairs on the other side of the room.

Snail! Marsha thought. She could feel her face getting red. Suddenly, her legs became weak and she quickly sat on a nearby chair. She put her head in her hands. Dopey felt bad enough; snail feels awful! she thought. Then she felt an arm going around her.

"Don't listen to those stupid boys!" Amanda said. "They don't know what to say, so they hand out slams. You look great, Marsha! Come on, let's go talk to the girls."

"How was the party, dear?" asked Marsha's mom when she got home.

"We had a really good time, except for some dumb remarks by Jake!" she said as she sat down at the kitchen table with her glass of milk and her Bible. "Jake always has to say something dumb!"

Marsha began to read in Proverbs 25. When she came to verse 11, she frowned a little. Taking her Bible, she sidled up to her dad, who was reading the newspaper. "Dad, what does this mean about ‘apples of gold in settings of silver'?"

Dad read the verse to himself. "Well, it means that when we say the right thing to people at the right time, it feels pretty nice, and we should all do it more often," Dad said.

"Mmmm!" Marsha nodded her head. "Just like Amanda! She gave me ‘golden apples' tonight!" Dad put down the paper, and Marsha began to tell him about her evening.