“Ha, ha, it was so easy to help Mike cheat on the test…and I even got paid for it! What’s the harm? We both agreed, and we’re not hurting anyone else,” Pepe thought to himself while waiting in line at the cafeteria.
Since he had some money, he decided to buy a feast for lunch at school. When it was his turn to order, he decided to show his new found power with an authoritative and mean voice, “Give me three slices of pizza. Give me extra mashed potatoes. I want a large soda.” Pepe didn’t even say thank you when he was served.
He continued talking that way to friends for the rest of the school day. He felt powerful, and he didn’t care if he hurt people or not.
“What’s happening to Pepe today?” one of his classmates asked the others. “I don’t know,” another responded, “but we’d better not hang out with him. He’s being very mean.”
While Pepe was waiting outside for his dad to pick him up, one of his classmates, Sylvia, walked by with a big stack of books she checked out from the library. Suddenly, one of her books felt on the ground and she looked like she was going to start crying. Pepe didn’t move, “I’m too tired to pick it up,” he thought. “Besides, I don’t feel like getting it for her. Let her deal with it. They’re her books anyway.”
Back at home, Pepe decided to go for a bike ride. He disobeyed his parents by riding to the big construction site they had prohibited him from visiting. “What could happen to me anyway? I do what I want,” Pepe said to himself.
Pepe was riding with a wonderful feeling of being the center of the world when suddenly, ”Aaaaaaaahhhhhh!…” he yelled in panic. He and his bike fell into a big dark hole on the ground that was part of the digging they had been doing there.
After hitting the ground, his whole body ached and his bike was broken. He couldn’t move, and in his pain noticed that his heart was as dark as the hole he was in. He took a deep breath and finally exclaimed, “What have I done? I’ve been so bad today!” He felt empty, fearful, and lonely.
“Hello! Hello! Pepe!” a sweet voice came calling him, bringing a beautiful bright light into the darkness, and suddenly the Three Musketeers were with him.
“You’re here,” Pepe was surprised and relieved to see them.
“We’re always with you, Pepe,” the three responded in unison.
“Amazing, you’re even in my deepest darkness. I’m sorry about today,” Pepe felt ashamed. “I didn’t follow some of the good advice that you’ve been giving me through the Bible.”
“Well, now you know that the freedom to act that God gives you can deeply affect others and yourself,” the Holy Spirit spoke.
“Yes,” was the only thing Pepe could say. He thought for a moment and added, “I guess that what you want me to do—and not to do—is for me to be better and live in your joyful and peaceful light…right?”
“And also to make the Kingdom of God visible to everyone,” Jesus happily added.
“You’re learning, Pepe!” cheered the Father. “We always give you advice out of love.”
“But I’ve noticed that many people act the way I was behaving today and they even think it’s cool,” Pepe interrupted.
“The more you have God in your heart, the more you’ll start thinking and acting like us Musketeers,” Jesus said.
Pepe still looked sad, and he still felt ashamed.
“Don’t look so sad, and don’t worry,” the Holy Spirit told him. “You just repented, and so Jesus has cleansed your heart. He took all sins on the cross.”
Pepe was so thankful to Jesus that he couldn’t help grinning from ear to ear, and knew immediately that he had to change his behavior. Suddenly, he heard other voices coming from far away, “I think he’s here somewhere!” “Yes, I saw him biking in this area.” “Do you think he felt in one of those big holes they’re digging?” “Pepe, Pepe! Where are you?”
Pepe looked at the Three Musketeers and realized that they had spoken to his friends’ hearts and told them to come to his rescue.
“Here I am! Here I am!” Pepe yelled back to his friends from the bottom of the hole, and allowed God’s light to embrace him.
This story is based on ideas from the Bible: Matthew 19:17 Romans 12:2 Isaiah 48:17