Here’s a short little mystery story about helping. I wrote it for 2 reasons.
1) for my 4th of July lesson for my Jr. Church class (it’s based on actual events that took place at our Memorial Day carnival…with a little artistic license!)
2) My friend Susanna Hill is hosting a writing contest.
I added a few quick sketches to go along (they are not part of the contest). The story could only be 400 words, had to be a mystery of sorts, and had to be about the 4th of July. To read all the other stories by my very talented writer friends, and for rules and prizes click here.
The Missing Prize Bag
Everyone was busy at the church getting ready for the 4th of July parade and carnival. The men were setting up the bounce house while the ladies set up the welcome table. The Sunday School classes were tying streamers to the back of the parade float. Teens were blowing up balloons and the senior ladies were putting up military posters of men in uniform around their booth.
“Mama, what can I do to help?” asked little Jilly. She wanted to help with something important, but everyone kept telling her she was too little.
“Just sit right there and be good while I set up the bake table,” said Mama.
Jilly frowned. That’s not really helping she thought, but she obeyed. Then suddenly they heard a shriek and a loud “OH, NO!”
It was Mrs.DeMoss one of the senior ladies. She was nearly crying, “The bag of prizes is gone! I’ve searched everywhere. The whole bag of red, white, and blue necklaces and pins is missing. They are thank you gifts for people who donate for the military Care Packages. It’s the special part of our 4th of July carnival!”
People were gathering around asking questions, ‘”Where did you last have the bag? What color is the bag? Pastor came over and said in his big voice, “Let’s stay calm. Mrs. D last had the bag when she was helping paint carnival signs in the gym. God will help us. Let’s spread out and look.”
Jilly asked her mom, “Can I help? I’m a good looker even if I’m little.” Her mother smiled, “Yes, you can help.”
It was getting close to parade time and the prizes had not been found. Jilly asked, “Mama, why doesn’t God just make the bag appear?”
“Sometimes God needs us to help,” Mama said as they went in the supply room. Mama looked around, and sighed, “Not in here, I guess.”
But Jilly noticed a tiny piece of blue plastic sticking out from a bottom shelf between bottles of red and blue paint. “Mama, look!” she said as she
They moved bottles of paint and brushes aside. There, stuck to the shelf was the bag of prizes! They grabbed it and went running to Mrs. DeMoss. She hugged Jilly and said, “The littlest one found the prize bag!”
Jilly smiled and said, “No God did, I just helped!”
# # # the end
My class which ranges in age from 4 yr to 6th grade did not know much about our forefathers who wrote the Declaration of Independence. So I gave them a little history and explained that one person could not have accomplished what they did together.
Together they shared the burden. Galatians 6:2 says “Bear ye one another’s burdens.” We all become stronger working together.