“Carson is here today,” James’s mom said, pointing to a boy in the hallway by the Primary room.
James groaned. Carson was wearing jeans and an old shirt. James knew his mom and dad would never let him wear anything like that to church, but they would never let him get away with a lot of the other things Carson did either.
Last week at school, Carson had been kicked out of class for talking back to the teacher. He always made fun of the way James dressed and gave him a hard time for being the shortest boy at school.
“What if he yells at Sister Win or starts a fight?” James asked.
“I’m sure everything will be fine,” Mom said. “Carson has never been to church, and he’s probably nervous.”
When class started, Sister Win asked who had brought their scriptures. James raised his hand along with the rest of the class, but Carson shook his head. He looked embarrassed, which surprised James. Carson usually made a joke when he didn’t do his homework. But the more James thought about it, the more he wondered what it would be like to go to a new church for the first time.
Sister Win handed Carson her scriptures to use. When it was Carson’s turn to read a scripture, James began to worry. What if Carson tossed the scriptures on the floor or refused to read?
But Carson didn’t do any of those things. He stared at the words on the page and scowled. After a moment, James realized that Carson couldn’t read very well. James had never noticed this before at school.
James leaned over to Carson and whispered, “Verily.”
Carson looked surprised, but he said the word and continued reading the verse. When he struggled with a word, James helped him with it. At the end of his turn, Carson looked over at James and gave a small nod.
James wasn’t sure if things were going to be different at school after this. The funny thing was that he didn’t care. He felt good knowing he had helped a boy who always gave him a hard time, and nobody could take that feeling away.