Faith,  Short Stories for Kids

The Boy – A Christian Short Story For Children

Today I’m sharing another short story for children. If you’re new here on the Unique Mums blog, my name’s Anna and I write articles for mothers on homemaking and Christian faith, as well as short stories for children.

Some of these short stories are general stories with Christian principles, and some are Christian stories with references to God, prayer, and other Biblical truths. This short story falls into this second category, and it’s for children ages 7 to 10.

This story is about a girl called Sarah, who found a boy in a field one day, and her life and his changed forever. The themes in this story are evangelism, redemption, adoption, and prayer.

This story is also set in the past (1932 to be exact) in the UK.

The Biblical principles present in the story are:

Ok, so let’s get into the story!

The Boy – A Christian Short Story For Children

England – 1932

Sarah skipped across the flowers in delight, her blond hair blowing and glistening in the sun.

– Sarah! – she heard her mum call in the distance. – Don’t go too far.

Sarah smiled. Her mum always got so worried. Sarah knew this field like the back of her hand. 

Just then, Sarah stopped in her tracks. In front of her sat a boy with his back turned. 

Just then, the boy turned around. 

– Oh hello! – he said – What are you doing here?

– Well, I came here to play – said Sarah – What about you?

– Oh, I live here. 

– You live in this field? 

Sarah couldn’t believe her ears. How could anyone live in a field?

– Yeah. I don’t have parents. I ran away from the orphanage – he blurted out. Then a look of suspicion took over him. 

– Don’t tell anyone, ok? – he said.

Sarah nodded and started talking about the field and how much she liked it there. Soon they were both chatting happily about the flowers and birds they could see.

After a few minutes, Sarah’s mother, Margaret, appeared. 

– Hello – said Margaret to the boy – What’s your name?

– Tom – said the boy. 

– Hello, Tom. I was just calling Sarah to come back home. It’s time we got our tea. 

Then, as an afterthought, she said:

– Is your mother here?

– No, she’s not. I don’t have parents. 

– What about someone else? An aunt? A neighbour? – Margaret said, looking worried.

– Not right now. I’m on my own.

Sarah and Tom looking at birds in the field. An illustration by my daughter, Abby

Margaret looked at Tom. His face, though slightly dirty, had an open and honest expression.

– Do you want to have tea with us, Tom? – she asked. 

– Yes, please. 

It was said simply, but Tom beamed. Sarah also smiled happily and thanked her mother. As an only child, she often felt lonely, and she loved the thought of having a friend around. Then Sarah led the way to their house, which was just a few roads away from the field. 

– Can I ask what happened to your parents? – said Margaret to Tom as they walked.

– My parents died when I was two. I lived with relatives for a while. Perhaps you’ve heard of them. The Johnsons. My mother’s cousin and her husband. Then they moved to America to get work, and they sent me to the orphanage. – Tom said scowling. 

Sarah looked at him and wondered if Tom would tell her mother that he’d run away. 

– I didn’t like it there. So now I’m going to look after myself. I’m twelve.

Margaret smiled, but looked confused. 

– Does the orphanage know where you are?

Tom grimaced.

– No. I ran away yesterday. Please don’t tell anyone! I really can’t go back there.

– Well, you shouldn’t have run away, but I promise I won’t tell anyone for now – said Margaret.

– Please don’t tell anyone. The orphanage is horrid. It’s cold there, and they don’t look after us. We’re just numbers. And I didn’t have any friends there. Some boys bullied me. Others just ignored me. 

– Oh – said Margaret – That must have been hard.

– But what will you do on your own? – said Sarah – How will you get food? You can’t live in a field! 

– I’ll get a job and get rooms – said Tom.

Just then they arrived at the house and Margaret said:  

– We’re here. Sarah, how about you show Tom around? I need to get tea ready. 

Sarah smiled shyly at Tom and said: 

– Do you want to see my shell collection?  

The kids ran off, and Margaret went to the kitchen to prepare the sandwiches and cut the Victoria Sponge Cake she’d baked in the morning.

In the 30s teatime consisted of tea, sandwiches and sometimes cake.

She smiled as she cut the four slices. It was so lovely having another child in the house. It was what she’d wanted for so long. But then she couldn’t help worrying about Tom. They couldn’t possibly keep him there. But what on earth could they do? It was understandable that he didn’t like the orphanage. She’d heard stories about that orphanage from other people in the town.

Just then, she heard the door open, and her husband, William, walked into the kitchen. 

– Hello, sweetie. Is tea ready? 

– Nearly. I just need to lay the table. Actually, I have something to tell you. 

Margaret told William the story about Tom and as soon as she’d finished, William walked over to the living-room where the children were looking at Sarah’s books, and Margaret followed him. 

Hi, my name’s William. I’m Sarah’s father. Margaret told me your story. Don’t worry. We’ll look after you tonight. 

– Thank you, sir.

– I’m afraid tomorrow you’ll have to go back, though. – said William with a pained expression – It’s really for the best. I know it’s hard, but we need to do the right thing.

– How can going back be the right thing? – said Tom – The orphanage is horrible. 

– I know, but your guardians entrusted you to the nuns. You can’t just leave without a trace. You need to go back, but I believe that by doing what’s right, God will provide. Anyway, tonight you can stay here.

The New Orphan Houses, known as the Muller Homes, were orphanages in the district of Ashley Down in Bristol. In this story, the description of the orphanage Tom was in is based on accounts of orphanages like the one pictured in the 1930s.

After tea, the children went upstairs to play and Margaret said;

– How do you think we can help Tom? 

– Margaret, I knew the Johnsons, and I’d heard of Tom. I just didn’t know they’d left him at the orphanage when they went to America. I assumed some other relative had come to get him. I believe God wants us to look after Tom. To adopt him. Remember that conversation we had a few years ago when we realised we couldn’t have any more children after Sarah? Tom is the answer to our prayers. 

– I know. I thought about that as well. But I don’t see how.

– I don’t either, but God adopted us into His family. Now we are to do the same. Let’s speak to the orphanage. Put ourselves forward as adoptive parents.

– How do we know they’ll allow it?

– They might not. But we can’t keep Tom here without their consent. 

Just then, the children ran in and William said:

– It’s time for bed, children. Tom, we’ll take you to the orphanage tomorrow morning. Hopefully, though, you’ll only need to stay there temporarily. Margaret and I are going to request to adopt you.

– Really? You want to adopt me? – Tom’s eyes almost came out of their sockets.

– Yes, Tom. We’ve been praying about adopting a child for the last few years. And then today you came into our lives. I prayed about it, and felt at peace. God has adopted us into His family through Jesus, His Son. We want to do the same and adopt children who don’t have parents.

– I don’t know what to say – said Tom with tears in his eyes.

– Oh daddy. I hope they let you adopt Tom. – said Sarah. She couldn’t believe that her parents were really thinking of giving her a brother. The thought filled her with delight. She’d always wanted a sibling.

– We do too. Let’s pray together -said William.

– So all together, the four of them prayed for God’s will to prevail. 

When they finished, William said:

– I’m at peace. God is in control.

The children went up to bed. Tom was to have the spare bedroom, just across the hall from Sarah.

A typical house in the 1930’s. Photo credit: fifimcgee

The following morning at eight, they walked to the orphanage. After explaining what had happened to Tom the day before to Sister Marie, who had opened the door, Tom was led away. Sarah sighed. It was heartbreaking to see Tom’s face. He was not happy. 

Sister Marie then asked them to wait while she informed the chief nun about what had happened. Ten minutes passed before Sarah finally saw Sister Marie walking towards them. She told them she would take them to speak to Sister Angeline, the chief nun. 

They walked down a spacious corridor until they reached a dark green door. Sister Marie knocked, and Sarah heard a voice from within.

– Come.

They stepped into the cold, spacious room. The head nun stretched out her hand, but her face was serious.

– So you’re the parents who took care of Tom yesterday. I’m Sister Angeline.

– I’m William, and this is Margaret, my wife, and our daughter, Sarah – said William – Sarah found Tom in a field yesterday and we took him in. He told us he’s not happy here. He wanted to get a job and get rooms. We know we had to warn you and bring him back. However, we want to request to adopt him. We are Christians and we believe God has put it on our hearts.

– That’s all very fine and dandy – said Sister Angeline – but I’m afraid we can’t let him be adopted without express consent from his official guardians, who are in America. We can send them a consent form and a letter, but it may take weeks before we get approval. And even then, we have no guarantee they’ll say yes.

– We can wait – said Margaret firmly.

– As you wish. I’ll draw up the letter and the consent form right now. You can fill it in. I will need to ask you some questions.

When they’d finished, sister Angeline said:

– I’ll call for Tom.

After a few minutes, Tom strutted in, his face gloomy. 

– Tom – said Sister Angeline – this couple want to adopt you. We’ve sent a consent form to your relatives. We don’t know what their answer will be or how long it will take to come through. In the meantime, you will remain here. Do not even think of trying to escape – she said sternly.

Tom hung his head and looked cross.

– Don’t worry, Tom – said William – it’s for the best. We need to be patient. God will provide, fella.

– That’s all right for you to say – blurted Tom – but I have to live here. 

– Tom, you do not speak to your elders in such a manner! – said sister Angeline.

– I’m sorry, sir – said Tom turning to William – I better go. I have lessons to attend.

Sarah looked at Tom and tried to catch his eye, but Tom just went away, looking upset.

When they were walking back home, Sarah said:

– Daddy, I know Tom is sad about having to stay at the orphanage, but why is he so cross?

– I suppose he’s cross because he felt rejected by his relatives – said William gently – it must be hard on a young fellow. Imagine, Sarah, if it had happened to you. 

– I know. But how can we help him feel better?

– We need to pray a lot. Also, I was thinking we could start visiting Tom and we could try and give him a Bible.

– Yay! Please let’s! Maybe Tom will come to know Jesus.

– Yes, God is able to do that. We need to keep praying. 

The next few weeks were hard, though. William and Sarah were allowed to visit Tom once a week for an hour at a time, and Sarah wasn’t allowed in at all. The first time they visited Tom, Margaret handed him a Bible, but Tom didn’t look very enthusiastic.

After that, every time they visited, William and Margaret asked Tom how he was doing with the Bible reading and each time they got similar answers.

– It’s hard to understand. I read a few bits and then gave up.

Six long weeks passed. William, Margaret and Sarah kept praying for Tom. Then one Friday afternoon, when William and Margaret went on their regular visit, Tom walked over to them and beamed.

– I read your Bible yesterday. God spoke to me. 

– Really? Said Margaret – What did He say?

Tom picked up the Bible, which was on the table next to where he was standing, and opened it on a page that had a bookmark.

God reveals Himself through His word. Photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.

He read out:

– “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

Then he put the Bible down and said simply. 

– When I read that, I remembered other things my relatives told me when I was younger. About Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. I didn’t understand it then. But now I do. God is good and sent Jesus to die for me, even though I don’t deserve it. I was wrong. I hated my relatives for leaving me here. I hated the nuns. I hated the boys here. But God still loved me. Even though I was hateful, He allowed me to meet you. And you were so kind. You even want to adopt me, even though I’ve been so bad. 

– That’s right, Tom! What a wonderful thing! God revealed His love to you! – said William – We’ve been praying so much.

Then Tom said:

– I’m sorry I wasn’t happy when you gave me the Bible. Now, it’s the most important thing I have. I’m going to read it every day. Also, I’m going to say sorry to sister Angeline for running away.

After saying goodbye to Tom, William and Margaret headed home and told Sarah the wonderful news of Tom’s newfound faith. 

Sarah was delighted, and that night she prayed once again that Tom’s relatives would allow him to be adopted.

Two weeks later, as they sat down to tea one Friday evening, sister Angeline telephoned.

– I have your answer about Tom. Can you come in tomorrow?

– Of course – said Margaret.

– You can all come, even Sarah – said sister Angeline.

Needless to say, that night seemed to go on forever. Sarah went to bed early but lay awake for hours praying, hoping, fearing.

But finally sleep came and then morning. After breakfast, the family walked down to the orphanage. They spoke little. 

Sister Angeline received them much like the first time they’d been to visit her, and motioned for them to sit down.

– I have news – she said – the Johnsons answered our letter. They wrote saying that they wanted Tom to be at the orphanage at first so that he could make friends with other boys his age.

At this Margaret gasped! What was happening? Did this mean they said no?

Then sister Angeline said:

– However, they also wrote saying that they read the information about you and they accepted your request for adoption. They signed the consent forms. It’s settled. You will be Tom’s new parents!

Tom and Margaret smiled and hugged each other. Sarah beamed. 

– God is good! – she said.

The end

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