Sally and Sam had moved to a new home.
When they moved Sally and Sam had left their friends behind. Their mother said they would make new friends when they started to school. But the first day of school Sally and Sam came home unhappy. All the other children had friends already and Sally and Sam felt left out.
"I know it's not always easy to make friends," their mother told them. "Good things take time to grow, including friendships."
Then Sally and Sam's mother went and got two pots.
She put soil from a sack into each of the pots.
Then she gave Sally one of the pots and Sam the other. She opened a package and gave Sally and Sam some seeds.
"Each of you plant some seeds in your pot," she took the children. "Be sure you take good care of them. Water the soil whenever it starts to feel dry, and make sure your pots get plenty of sunshine. I'll bet by the time your plants bloom you will have new friends. But you must be sure to nurture your friendships just like you do these plants. Otherwise neither will grow. You must show love toward others. Be happy, and don't pick fights. Don't become angry when things don't go your way. Be a good example to others, but don't ever think you're better than anyone else. Trust God to work things out. And most importantly, remember to pray each day, asking God to help you be a good friend to others."
Sally and Sam put their seeds in their pots. They gave them lots of water and put them on the windowsill. The next day they went to school and tried to be nice to everyone. But still, no one wanted to be their friend. Sally and Sam came home and looked at their pots.
There was no sign of anything growing.
Day after day Sally and Sam went to school. They didn't push and shove on the playground. They didn't name call or shout ugly words. They never argued. When someone needed help, Sally and Sam lent them a hand.
One day a group of girls asked Sally to sit with them in the cafeteria. They had a good time.
When Sally came home she looked at her pot and saw some small green leaves poking out of the soil.
Sam played a game of touch football with a group of boys and had a good time.
When he came home he looked at his pot and it, too, had a small green leaf.
Remember to treat others like you would like them to treat you," their mother reminded the children when they showed her the small green leaves in their pots. "You'll discover being nice to others will make you feel good too."
One day Sally forgot to take care of her plant. She forgot to be nice at school. When she came home her plant didn't look right. Sally remembered what her mother said. She gave the plant fresh water and made sure that the next day at school she was kind to others.
Before long both Sally and Sam's plants were strong and healthy. And when summer came there were beautiful flowers blooming in their pots.
Sally and Sam's friendships had grown too.
Whenever either of them felt like being mean or nasty to one of the other children they thought of their plants and how they had wilted when they hadn't taken good care of them. That helped Sally and Sam remember to be take care of their friendships too.
Sally and Sam were happy because they had learned to do things the right way. God's way.