Helping Eli Be Brave
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    “Helping Eli Be Brave,” Friend, Nov. 2006, 34

    Helping Eli Be Brave

    (Based on a true story)

    Be not afraid … : for the Lord thy God is with thee (Deuteronomy 20:1).

    Hannah sobbed. Mom gently combed Hannah’s hair and added a pretty bow. Hannah sobbed louder.

    “You must be very worried about your shot at the doctor’s today,” Mom said, lifting Hannah onto her lap. “Would you like us to say a prayer?”

    Hannah nodded. Mom held Hannah and prayed that Heavenly Father would help Hannah be brave. Hannah wiped her eyes. Then Mom set Hannah down and picked up baby Eli.

    “The shot will only hurt for a minute,” Mom promised as she dressed the baby. “Do you know why you need to have shots?”

    “So I won’t get really sick,” Hannah replied.

    “That’s right,” Mom said. “The shot will help you stay healthy. You’re lucky you only need one shot. Eli will have three shots today.”

    Hannah’s eyes filled with tears again. “Oh, poor Eli!” she declared. She bent down and gave her brother a hug. “I will help him be brave.”

    On the way to the doctor’s office, Hannah and Mom sang “I Am a Child of God.”* While they waited for the nurse, Hannah hummed quietly to Eli. Mom showed Hannah some toys to play with and books to read, but Hannah didn’t feel like playing or reading. She patted Eli’s head and held Mom’s hand.

    “Hello, young lady,” the nurse greeted Hannah. “Shall we do your shot first or your brother’s?”

    Hannah felt shy, but she whispered, “I will go first so Eli will see that it only hurts for a little minute.”

    “What a kind big sister!” the nurse said. She showed Hannah the syringe with the vaccine. “After we squirt this medicine into your leg, we’ll put on this bandage.”

    Hannah looked at the purple dinosaur bandage. She squeezed Mom’s hand when she felt a pinch from the shot.

    “All done. You held very still,” the nurse said. She gave Hannah a big round sticker to put on her shirt.

    “It’s OK to cry if it hurts,” Mom said.

    Hannah patted the sore spot on her leg. “I will wait to cry,” she said, “so Eli will not be so scared.”

    Eli cried after his three shots. When he was calm, Hannah didn’t feel like crying anymore.

    Hannah smiled and said proudly, “Heavenly Father helped me be brave, and I helped Eli.”

    Illustration by Brad Teare