Tina loved sports. In the summer she played soccer in a girl’s league and in the winter she played basketball at school. When she was in class she stared at the clock ticking by instead of listening to the teacher because she couldn't wait to get out in the fresh air and run around with her friends.
It was recess and Tina’s friends Jane and Liz were inside helping the teacher move some desks around, so Tina ran over to Roger and John who were putting a couple teams together to play football.
“Which team can I be on?” Tina asked.
“Go away, no girls allowed,” snapped Roger.
Tina thought they were joking. But then noticed the boys weren’t smiling.
“No, really, I want to play.”
“You can’t play. You’re just a girl.”
“What’s that got to do with anything?” asked Tina.
“Girls can’t play football. This is a man’s game.” said John.
“It’s not as if you’re playing in the Grey Cup. Even if you were…”
“Go away!” shouted Roger pushing Tina to the ground.
That night as she was getting ready for bed and to say her prayers, her dad noticed that she wasn’t her normal chatty self.
“What’s wrong, Tina. Why are you so quiet?”
“The boys wouldn’t let me play football with them because I am girl. One of them even pushed me.”
“Pushed you! Which one?”
“I work with Roger’s dad. I ‘ll talk with him tomorrow.”
“Why do boys have to be so mean?” asked Tina.
“Not all boys are mean. But some are, yes. I guess they have to show themselves how big and tough they are by picking on others. They should have been at church on Sunday.”
“Why?” asked Tina.
“Do you remember the story you heard in Sunday school about the woman at the well? You might remember that woman weren’t treated very well. Men were the only people that mattered. But Jesus talked to the woman, forgave her sin, and was the first person in the bible to share the good news of God’s love with her neighbours. Even though everyone else thought woman couldn’t do anything, Jesus gave her the most important job there is because he saw she was more than ‘just a girl.’”
“I guess if Jesus gave that woman the most important job, God must think girls are pretty special as well as boys.” Tina said.
Then they said a prayer like this as we do now: Dear God, thank you for seeing more in us than anyone else sees. Thank you for loving us. Amen.