For Little Friends

By


Audrey Makes a Friend

Based on an experience from the author’s family
“And be ye kind one to another” (Eph. 4:32).

Audrey felt wiggly. It seemed to her that sacrament meeting would never end. She twisted and knelt backwards on the bench. Mom made her turn around. She slid to the floor and sat under the bench. Dad picked her up and set her back in her seat. She made a face at Rebekah, her older sister. Rebekah put a finger to her lips and whispered, “Shh!”

Audrey frowned. She leaned forward and looked down the long row. Except for Audrey’s family, the only person on the bench was an old man. A cane rested against his leg. Audrey looked at the old man’s cane. It was smooth and shiny. She looked at his hands, resting quietly in his lap. Then she looked at his face. He seemed to be listening to the speaker, but when the other people laughed, his mouth did not even smile. Audrey thought his eyes looked sad.

She wanted to help. Slowly and quietly, Audrey slid off the bench. Softly and reverently, she tiptoed over to the old man. Mom and Dad watched her go. She put her finger to her lips and smiled at them. Then she climbed onto the bench next to the old man.

He looked down. Audrey scooted closer to him and patted his wrinkled fingers. He opened his fingers and wrapped her little hand in his. Audrey leaned her head on the old man’s arm and gave his hand a gentle squeeze. “Be happy,” she wanted to tell him. She tipped her head to look up at his face. The old man smiled down at her and winked.

During the closing hymn, Audrey heard him singing. His voice was low and scratchy, but Audrey thought he didn’t sound sad. After the meeting, Audrey’s mom and dad came to shake hands with him.

“We’re Brother and Sister Noe,” Dad said, “and this is our daughter Audrey.”

“It’s nice to meet you. I am Brother Campbell,” he said.

After that Sunday, Audrey’s parents invited Brother Campbell to sit with their family during sacrament meeting every week. Audrey always felt less wiggly sitting next to Brother Campbell. And even better, Brother Campbell always smiled.

Illustrated by Dilleen Marsh

Lurley Noe is a member of the Chilhowee Ward, Knoxville Tennessee Cumberland Stake.