By Cindy Patience
Volume 18, Number 2, April/May/June 2017 Issue 71
The Cardboard Shield
Cassie loved church reunion. She loved to see her church friends, and she loved sleeping in the cabins, walking to the chapel in the mornings, and going to class to learn about Jesus.
When her family would sit together on a blanket to sing fun songs and watch silly skits at campfire, she felt happy, and the prayers and testimonies made her feel peaceful and safe.
The first day of reunion, Cassie and her friends made cardboard shields with a cross on each of them. Their teacher taught them that the shields would be a reminder that Jesus gives us all a shield of faith and that if we have faith, and ask him, he promises to help and protect us.
Cassie loved her shield. Somehow, when she carried it with her, she felt brave and noble. She had painted a red heart on it because it reminded her of all the love she felt at reunion. She carried it with her every day to chapel, and every day to class. She carried it to every meal, and took it with her every night to campfire. She even slept with her shield right next to her.
One night, Cassie and her family woke up and heard loud thunder and saw bright flashes of lightning through the cabin window. She could hear the wind blowing very hard against the thin walls and heard hail pounding like a hammer on the roof. The wind was too strong, and the hail was too big to try to run to shelter in the dining hall, so all the families stayed in their cabins and prayed that the storm would not hurt anyone.
Cassie held tightly to her shield and remembered what her teacher had said about having faith. She prayed that her family and all the other families at camp would be okay. After a while the hail stopped, and the rain began to slow to a sprinkle, and the campers started to come out of their cabins to check on each other.
Cassie grabbed her robe and her slippers and, using her shield as an umbrella, she stepped outside. Just as she did this, she saw her friends, Josh and Sarah, coming out of their cabins with their shields over their heads, and David and Amy crossing the campgrounds protected by their shields. They ran happily towards each other and gathered in a circle with their shields touching over their heads. Together, the shields formed a canopy over them all.
Many tree branches had been strewn all over the campgrounds, and the picnic tables were overturned, but the buildings and all the people were safe. Cassie wasn’t surprised, though, because she knew that everything would be okay. After all, Jesus had promised to be their shield, and he was.
Cassie kept that cardboard shield for many years, and each time she saw it or thought about it, it reminded her to be brave and to have faith that Jesus will always help us. He will be our shield even in the middle of the scariest storms.