Trevor’s Embarrassing Secret

Trevor Paul Monroe listened to Joseph’s excited voice on the phone. “Do you think you can come?” Joseph asked. “We’ll have so much fun! G.M. will let us make a picnic supper and everything! Don’t you think it will be fun?”

“I’ll ask my mom,” Trevor said. “I’ll call you back pretty soon.” Trevor hung up the telephone.

“Was that Joseph on the phone?” Mom asked, coming into the kitchen.

“Yes,” Trevor answered.

Mom looked at Trevor’s unhappy face. “What’s the matter?” she asked.

“Oh, nothing,” Trevor answered, scraping his sneaker on the vinyl floor.

“Stop that!” Mom exclaimed. “You know that squeaky sound makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up!”

Trevor grinned. “Let me see!” he said.

“No way!” Mom replied, grinning back at him. “So what did Joseph have to say?”

Trevor hesitated. “He said Mr. Evans let him put up his pup tent in the yard today. Joseph wants me to go over and camp out in it with him tonight.”

“I see,” Mom said, looking thoughtful. “What did you tell him?”

“I told him I would ask you,” Trevor answered.

“And what do you want me to say?” Mom asked.

Trevor squeaked his sneaker on the floor again. “I’m sorry!” he said quickly, seeing Mom’s face. “I don’t know what I want you to say.”

“When you decide, let me know,” Mom said. “You might want to tell Joseph the truth about why it isn’t an easy decision for you.”

“No!” Trevor protested.

“Well, that’s your call,” Mom said. She opened the refrigerator door. “I think I need to go shopping,” she mused. “I’d better make a list.”

Trevor scuffed his feet on the rug on his way through the living room. He looked out the front window. Ben and Brad were playing a noisy game of one-on-one in the driveway. Trevor was not in the mood to play with his big brothers. He turned around and went through the house and out the back door.

Trevor walked slowly across the lawn. He climbed up onto the tree house deck. He sat down, leaned his arms on the railing, and let his legs dangle over the edge. He watched a fat robin hop and stop and hop across the grass. Robins were lucky, he thought. They didn’t have embarrassing secrets they hoped their friends would never find out.

Trevor tried to let his mind wander. It would be easier not to think about his problem. But it was hard not to think about something on purpose. It was like the time when Brad had told him to stop thinking about pink elephants. He hadn’t been thinking about elephants. And then he couldn’t stop thinking about elephants. And normally he could go days without elephants ever entering his mind at all! Thoughts were funny things.

OK, Trevor decided. If he couldn’t not think about the problem, maybe he would just concentrate on it and figure out how to get rid of it. Even though he had tried that before. Lots of times.

Trevor shut his eyes. The dark wasn’t so bad when he just shut his eyes. Probably because he knew he could open them up any time he wanted to. It wasn’t like at night. At night it was just dark, dark, dark. Well, it would be if he didn’t have his trusty night light in the bedroom. And that was the reason he couldn’t camp out in Mr. Evan’s tent in Joseph’s back yard. There was no place in a tent to plug in a night light. And even if there were, there was no way he was going to admit to his friends that he was afraid at night without his light! It would be just too embarrassing.

Trevor’s eyes popped open. He squinted up at the bits of pale blue sky that he could see through the big oak leaves. Then suddenly he had a thought. It just flew into his brain and exploded there! Knowing God changes my life! Those were the words Pastor Chuck had said in class last Sabbath. He remembered his memory verse. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” A smile crept across Trevor’s face. He was in Christ. That must mean he was a new creation. He had been afraid of the dark for so long that being afraid was certainly very, very old. Maybe God had already made him new and brave. Maybe he was a brave person, and he just didn’t know it yet! But he knew how he could find out.

Trevor scrambled down out of the tree. He dashed across the grass. “Mom!” he shouted. “Mom! I’m going to call Joseph back now. I know what I want you to say!”

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