By: Jean Boonstra
“Umi,” Piper called out to her friend. “You forgot this!” Piper lifted the colorful garment off of the grass and held it out to her friend.
Umi took the bright orange scarf from Piper. “I keep dropping this,” she said with a scowl. Umi shook the scarf and dry leaves fluttered off of it and back onto the grass. Umi wrapped the scarf back around her neck and smiled at Piper.
“Hugo and Logan are playing foursquare,” Umi said. “Come on, let’s join them.”
Piper crossed her arms and dug her heels into the grass. She watched Umi’s back as she ran off, wondering how long it would take before she noticed that she wasn’t following.
Umi turned around and then stopped. “Come on,” she hollered back at her friend.
Piper shook her head and stood still as a statue. Umi shrugged and ran back to her. “Piper, what’s going on?” she asked, frustrated.
“You forgot something,” Piper said.
Umi scratched her head. “No,” she puzzled. “You found my scarf for me.”
“That’s it,” Piper said with a pout. “I found your scarf and you forgot to say thank you.”
“Did I?” Umi asked her nose scrunching up as she thought. “I felt thankful. Didn’t I say that?”
“Nope,” Piper said shaking her head.
“I’m sorry Piper.” I sometimes forget to say what I’m thinking. “But, it’s not that big a deal. Come on, or the game will be over.”
Piper stood firm. “It is a big deal, Umi,” she said. “I’m your best friend and I’m not mad, but it’s rude to not say thank you.”
“Rude? I don’t know about that,” Umi protested.
“Umi,” Piper said flopping her arms at her side in exasperation. “It’s important! Even Jesus took time to be thankful.”
“Really now, Piper,” Umi said. “You’re making this way too big a thing.”
“Umi,” Piper continued, “I’m not. Think about how busy Jesus was. His ministry on Earth only lasted a few years. And He had a pretty big job. Actually, the biggest job ever.”
“Do you mean to save us all?” Umi asked.
“Yeah,” Piper agreed. “And still Jesus was thankful. You remember when He fed the five thousand people with some bread and fishes, right?”
“Yeah,” Umi said. “Of course, I listen in Chaplain Jake’s Bible class.”
“Well then do you remember that he gave thanks for the food?” Piper asked.
“I sort of forgot that part, I guess,” Umi said quietly.
“And then at the Last Supper, Jesus took time to thank God for the food and drink,” Piper said.
“At the last supper? That was at the very end of His life,” Umi said thoughtfully. “He didn’t have very much time left before He was arrested.”
“Exactly,” said Piper. “But He took time to be thankful.”
Umi ran her hand over her orange scarf. She felt the smooth fabric under her hand and against her neck. “I love this scarf,” she said to Piper. “It keeps me warm and cozy on these fall days when the wind is cool.”
Piper nodded, still waiting for the rest of what she thought Umi should say.
“Thank you, Piper,” Umi said. “Thank you for finding my scarf for me.”
Piper stared at Umi without blinking. Umi braced herself for another speech. Instead, Piper grinned and grabbed her arm. “You’re welcome,” she said. “Now let’s go play some foursquare!”