Inviting Emma

“Inviting Emma,” Friend, October 2022, 38–39

Inviting Emma

Sam wanted to comfort Emma. What could he do?

Inviting Emma

Sam pushed through the doors of the restaurant. His stomach grumbled. He was so hungry! This restaurant made the best fried chicken ever. His family often came here after soccer practice.

Sam and Mom walked to the counter to order. “Hi, Emma!” said Sam. Emma was their favorite server. She was always friendly and nice.

“How was soccer practice?” Emma asked with a big smile.

“It was great. We’re going to win our next game!” Sam said.

“You’ll have to tell me all about it,” Emma said.

Sam grinned, and his family placed their order.

The next week Sam’s team did win! He couldn’t wait to tell Emma. But Emma wasn’t at the restaurant.

She wasn’t there the next week either. Sam missed seeing her.

A few weeks later, Sam’s family came to the restaurant again. Sam saw Emma cleaning tables. He hurried over to say hello.

“You’re back!” said Sam. “We’ve missed you.”

“We are so happy to see you again,” Mom said.

“Thank you.” Emma kind of smiled. But her eyes looked really sad.

“Are you OK?” Sam asked.

“No. My husband passed away. That’s why I haven’t been here.”

Mom gave Emma a hug. Seeing Emma sad made Sam sad too.

When their food was ready, Sam helped carry the tray to their table. He couldn’t stop thinking about how sad Emma looked. He sat down but didn’t feel like eating anything. He wanted to help her feel better. But what could he do?

Then Sam remembered something. Their bishop had given little cards to all the families at church. The cards showed what times people could watch general conference on TV or listen on the radio. The bishop said that conference was a wonderful time to feel peace.

“Mom, can we give Emma a card for general conference?” Sam asked. If Emma watched conference, maybe that would help her feel a little better.

“That’s a great idea.” Mom reached into her purse and pulled out a card. “Here,” she said. “You can give her this one.”

Sam took the card from Mom. He walked to the counter and asked the worker if he could talk with Emma.

“I’m sorry, but she’s busy right now,” the man said.

“That’s OK,” said Sam. “Could you give this to her? It’s an invitation to watch a special conference for my church.” Sam handed the man the card. “You can watch too, if you want!”

Inviting Emma

The man smiled. “Thanks! I’ll be sure to get this to her.”

When Sam walked back to their table, he felt warm inside.

“How did it go?” Mom asked.

“Emma was busy, so I gave the card to another worker to give to her,” said Sam. “Now two people will see the card! Maybe they will both watch conference and feel peace.”

Friend Magazine, 2022/10 Oct

Illustrations by Christine M. Schneider