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Overview: Short stories – stories for children and teens

Svenja and school

Svenja has a problem recently. She cannot sleep very well anymore. She found a second hand copy of an adult thriller in the underground. "Bloody" is the title of the book and that is just how it goes. Since Svenja has started reading the last chapter she does not have the courage to go in the cellar anymore. However it is much worse that; she is scared to go to sleep. She is awake very late every night before the sleep gets the better of her frantic fearful thoughts. She creeps around during the day tired and with dark circles under her eyes.

However the worst thing is the fear. She finally confesses her worries to Miriam, her mum’s friend. She cries: "I am so scared of dying!" Miriam comforts her: "I think we shall quickly throw your thriller in the bin but your fears – you have to get down to the root of them. Everybody dies at some time. It could happen to you or me tomorrow or in 50 years. But the decisive thing is: What then? Will you be beside Lord Jesus or be lost forever?" - "I do not belong to Jesus yet", says Svenja. "I always thought that it isn’t so important. But, now ..." Svenja prays together with Miriam „Dear Lord Jesus, I have so many sins. You know already: (What Svenja then says is her business). And please – I am so sorry – forgive me everything. I want to belong to you!"

Svenja now belongs to the Lord Jesus – for eternity. He does not leave us alone – not in life and certainly not in death. Svenja shrugs her shoulders. Stay cool; that is the motto. "Svenja, I would like to see your homework", the teacher for the second time.

"I have misplaced my exercise book. I simply could not find it and anyway, I thought the homework was for next week", she tries to talk herself out of it. "Svenja that is enough!" The teacher makes a quick note. Organisation and hard work is not her thing. The other kids tap her on the shoulder in the school yard: "Super! You were really cool! He was really annoyed."

But Svenja is not so cool deep down inside. She gets annoyed with herself. An awful feeling is eating her up inside that something has really gone wrong. There is no good feeling about the approval of the other person inside her. She finally manages to give the whole thing a name: Cheeky behaviour and half truths are sins. At home she talks about everything with her mother and with the Lord Jesus.

On the next day she gathers up all of her courage and goes to her teacher. "I am sorry about yesterday ..." she murmurs. She is determined deep inside: Something will have to change with the homework. It is super sunny summer’s day. But Svenja is angry, really angry – angry at her brother and sister. Tim and Sara are allowed to go to the zoo today and she has to stay at home revising because of her German work. "You can’t practice for German anyway. You can either do it or you can’t", she moans all day long.

"Svenja, that is enough now. Go to your room and think about why you keep making such a song and dance. That is my final warning", says her mother, calm but strict. Svenja stomps up the stairs into her room and slams the door behind her. She knows that it annoys her mother but she doesn’t care. She slopes towards her desk, still angry. Her eyes fall on the bible. "Do not grumble at each other", she had read this morning and after seven hours she had forgotten it all again. Svenja prays to God: "Please give me peace inside me and please help me try to stop getting so angry and annoyed so quickly."

It is lunch break. In Svenjas class it often goes a bit mad – today it is very mad. Twenty two scholars are standing next to the teacher’s desk and are staring at the ground and at Arthur. Arthur is spraying the contents of a can of deodorant which he just stolen from a classmate onto the ground. He sprays more and more until a puddle has formed.

"I’m coming!" calls Martin from the farthest corner as he runs towards Arthur with a lighter in his hand. With s strong flick, Martin has set the puddle alight. Screaming and with pale faces the classmates jump back. Who had expected such a large darting flame? The initial shock is over and the second comes. The geography teacher is standing in the doorway. She immediately grabs a bin, fills it with water and puts out the fire.

Everyone is sitting miserably in their seat while getting a roasting. Because the geography teacher wants names: the names of the guilty ones. Everyone is silent. Obviously, class comradeship!

Svenja is torn back and forth. Snitch? No – she does not want to do that. However she can do one thing. In front of peering eyes she goes to the front and calmly says: "I am sorry – I did not do anything to stop the person. I thought everything was so funny which means that I am guilty too!"

Svenja does this because she believes in Jesus and everyone in the class knows that. Some found it very stupid but others seemed to be moved. Luca and Frank are suddenly standing next to her. Innocent – who was really innocent today? Svenja is quite shaky. It is the last break time and then the test will be taken. What are these superfluous formulas called again? Oh yes, of course. The door opens on the bell and Mr Beam steps into the room. Short instructions follow: "Move all of the tables apart. Anyone who copies is cheating their teacher and will get an F!" A little while later the work sheets are placed in front of them.

Svenjas neighbour, Silvia, bites nervously on her pencil case. Arthur’s tears are flowing with the shock. Kai has filled his pencil case and his hands with formulas but that won’t help him either. Timo tries to fish his collection of formulas from his school bag. That does not work – his book is collected in by Mr Beam.

Svenja moans: "The test is really difficult." She would love to moan about the teacher. That is what she would have done before anyway. However she has a better method now. She speaks to the Lord with her heart. "Lord Jesus, please help me. You know that I have revised a lot but I simply can’t get any further. Please help me" She calms down and slowly the things she has learned start to flow onto paper...

Possible parts of the bible relevant to the story:

  • For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53,12)
  • I will confess my transgressions to the LORD "—and you forgave the guilt of my sin. (Psalm 32,5)
  • Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered. ( John 6,43)
  • Therefore love truth and peace. (Zachariah 8,19)
  • but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles. ( 2. Chronicles 32,8)

(Source: "Der Kompass" edition 2000, a daily calendar for children and young people in Germany. The story was allowed to be included in the collection of materials ( / with kind permission.)
Copyright: Christian circulation (

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