Talking to Lenny
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“Talking to Lenny,” New Era, Mar. 2014, 46

Talking to Lenny

Ashley J., Utah, USA

Instant Messages

Illustrations by Natalie Hoopes

Every day on the bus ride home from school, I would see Lenny. He always wore the same baggy T-shirt and worn-out tennis shoes, and he often had a big smile. He also had a disability. Often, the Spirit prompted me to say hello to him, but my pride stopped me.

One winter afternoon when I got on the bus, the Spirit’s promptings were especially strong, and I had a little extra courage. So when I saw Lenny in his usual spot, I decided to sit next to him. When I was almost to my stop, I closed my eyes, said a silent prayer, and then turned toward Lenny.

“Hi, I’m Ashley,” I said in an insecure but friendly voice.

He smiled at me, and all of my fear and pride melted away.

“I’m Lenny,” he shyly replied.

With those few words, a friendship began to form.

The next day, I sat next to Lenny again. He reached into his backpack and pulled out a handmade Valentine’s Day card addressed to “the pretty girl I see on the bus every day.” Valentine’s Day was long over, but Lenny had made this special card for me and had been patiently waiting for me to talk to him before giving it to me. I couldn’t help the tears from trickling down my cheeks.

Now I talk to Lenny daily. We exchange simple gifts on holidays, and we even went bowling with a group of friends. Each time I’m with Lenny, I’m reminded of the scripture in 1 John 4:18: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.” Lenny helps me remember the blessings that come from forgetting pride and having courage to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost.