•  4 min. read  •  grade level: 5
When Tommy's pet poodle "Bongo" died, Tommy was very sad. They had been such good friends and had played together for a long time. Tommy's mother made him a promise to help him get over his painful loss. She said, "Tommy, I'll let you pick out any dog you want that's for sale and I'll get it for you."
Tommy didn't have to think long about what kind of puppy he wanted. He already knew. He had written his sixth-grade term paper on "sled dogs." He knew that he wanted to get a sled dog. Not only did he want a sled dog, but he wanted the largest kind of sled dog there was-an Alaskan malamute.
Alaskan malamutes are much like wolves. They don't bark; instead, they howl just like wolves do. Tommy was really interested in this breed of dog and convinced his mother that the switch from a poodle to a dog as big as a wolf was all right.
After looking around for a couple of weeks, they found an ad in the paper-"Alaskan malamute puppies for sale." Tommy could hardly wait as they drove to the place where the puppies were.
The kennel owner showed him the puppies. "You see this big one here," he said. "We call her 'Lonesome,' because when we leave her alone, she cries and howls." As soon as Tommy looked at Lonesome, he knew that was the dog he wanted. Her howling didn't bother him at all, but only made her more appealing. The other puppies just didn't compare with this one. So Tommy and his mother bought Lonesome.
Lonesome whimpered all the way home. When she got to her new home, she cried and whined. Tommy tried to get her to go up the steps into the house, but she cried and ran the other way. When he brought out food and water, she wouldn't come near it. When he tried to pet her, she would only whine and run away from him. Tommy was patient with his new puppy. He never once thought that maybe he had picked the wrong dog.
Tommy's mother boiled some chicken livers for Lonesome to eat, thinking that might be what she was used to eating and that would make her feel at home. No, that didn't work either. Lonesome just couldn't get used to her new home and new owners.
All that afternoon and for part of the next day, Tommy followed Lonesome around their large yard pleading with her, "Lonesome, I love you. I want to be your friend. Don't you like me?" But all she would do was cry and whimper and run away from him.
Late in the afternoon of the second day, an idea flashed across Tommy's mind. He knew before he even tried it that it would work. He would pretend to cry. That seemed to be what Lonesome understood most. When she heard Tommy's pretend crying, she came right over to him to try to comfort him. Tommy petted her for a good long time... until they were friends at last.
Tommy's idea worked. Pretending to cry did the trick; he had won Lonesome for his friend.
Tommy won Lonesome's heart after a long time of pleading. Perhaps the Lord Jesus has been pleading to be your friend for a long time too. The Lord Jesus is the great winner of hearts. He knows each one of us better than we know ourselves. He also knows that we are all sinners and need a Savior. To win our hearts, He was nailed to Calvary's cross and was punished by God for sin. You see, even though He had never sinned, He had to be punished to open the way so sinners like you and me could be saved. Because of our sins, we are all on our way to that awful place called hell-an eternity of darkness-and there is only one way of escape. That way is by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your own Savior, believing that on the cross He suffered for your sins. Every boy or girl or grown-up who trusts in Him as his or her Savior will spend an eternity of happiness with Jesus in heaven. Just as Lonesome came to Tommy after he did so much to win her love, won't you come to the Lord Jesus and trust Him to save you? Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him" (Rev. 3:2020Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)). He also said, "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:3737All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (John 6:37)). Won't you respond to the Lord Jesus' love today?