Carrying Spotty
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“Carrying Spotty,” Friend, December 2021

Carrying Spotty

The author lives in Utah, USA.

That’s kind of how Jesus helps us.

“The Lord shall give thee rest, from thy sorrow, and from thy fear” (2 Nephi 24:3).

Abbie giggled. Happy, wiggly puppies hopped and flopped all around her. Which one should she pick?

A black puppy with a white spot on his chest ran over to her. He wagged his tail and licked her hand. And Abbie knew. He was the one! She scooped him up.

“This one, Dad!” Abbie gently hugged the warm, squirming puppy. “Let’s call him Spotty.”

When they got home, Abbie’s brother and sister were excited to meet Spotty. Spotty wagged his tail and rolled over for a tummy scratch. When Dad put the dog bowl down, Spotty buried his head in the food!

Later Dad and Abbie took Spotty for a walk. Dad gave Abbie the leash.

“Hold on tight,” Dad said. “Spotty might get scared and try to run away. You need to make sure he feels safe.”

“OK, Dad.” Abbie was bouncing up and down. She couldn’t wait!

They walked down the street. Well, Abbie and Dad walked. Spotty pranced. He sniffed bushes. He barked at squirrels. Every few minutes, he looked back at Abbie and Dad.

Soon they came to a house with three big dogs. The dogs growled and barked wildly from behind the fence.

Spotty froze. Abbie tried to pull him forward, but he wouldn’t budge.

“It’s OK. They can’t get to you,” she said softly. “You’re safe.”

Spotty just whimpered.

“Maybe you should carry him,” Dad said. Abbie picked Spotty up and walked across the street. He was shaking. When they couldn’t see the dogs anymore, Spotty calmed down. He licked Abbie’s face, and she set him down.

A few minutes later, Spotty started to slow down. His head drooped. He lay down on the sidewalk.

“Come on,” Abbie said. “We’re almost home.”

Spotty blinked at Abbie. He sighed.

“Aw. Too tired, buddy?” Abbie laughed. She picked him up again. This time she carried him the whole way home. Dad offered to help, but Spotty wasn’t very heavy. And Abbie loved him and wanted to take care of him.

That Sunday, Abbie’s Primary teacher talked about Jesus Christ.

“Jesus loves us so much that He suffered for us,” Sister Oliver said. “He felt all our sorrows so He could understand how we feel. That way, He can carry us through our trials.”

Abbie thought about how she had carried Spotty. That’s kind of how Jesus helps us, Abbie thought. Jesus might not really carry her, but He helped her feel stronger when she needed Him. Like the other night, when she was afraid of the dark. She had prayed and felt safe. Or when she was worried that she might forget her homework. She had prayed then and felt better—and she remembered it!

Abbie smiled. She knew that Jesus Christ loved her even more than she loved Spotty. And that was a lot!

Friend Magazine, Global 2021/12 Dec

Illustrations by Alexandra Ball