Sophie swiped her thumb across her phone. A new text glowed on her screen, beckoning for a return message. She tapped on the smiley face emoticon and hit send. Another text flashed on her screen.
She glanced up and looked at Dan, the youth leader. He was still reading out of the Bible. His voice was loud and sure as he read, “We know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one…”
Sophie tuned Dan out as she moved her phone beside her leg. She then pretended to stretch her neck down and to the side, finding the emoticon with the tongue sticking out, she hit send again.
“Sophie. I’m talking to you.” Dan’s voice was low, yet insistent.
Sophie discreetly slipped the phone in her back pocket.
“What does your relationship with Jesus mean to you?”
Sophie fidgeted in her seat. “It means everything to me.”
“Can you be more specific?” Dan took a step forward, pushing his glasses up with his forefinger.
“I, uh. Well, he listens to me. I can rely on him.”
Dan grinned and turned to Kevin. “What about you?”
Now that Dan’s attention was off of Sophie, she pulled the ponytail holder out of her hair. Her long hair fell in her face, creating a perfect blond shield. She reached behind her and pulled out her phone.
A text from Kevin popped on her phone:
Check out my new shoes.
She peered over her shoulder, where Kevin sat with his hands behind his back, his phone gripped in the palm of his hand. His fluorescent green tennis shoes practically burned Sophie’s eyes.
Dan tilted his head and asked again. “What does your relationship with Jesus mean to you, Kevin?”
Kevin bounced his leg, looked at the floor, and back up again. “I guess since he died for me, he’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Sophie’s phone buzzed. This wasn’t anything new, she received texts all day, but now her conscious started to bug her. To check or not to check? What if it was from Brittney about the dance?
Dan walked across the room, toward Brittney. Brittney’s head was bent low as her thumbs tapped across the screen of her phone. A pit grew in Sophie’s stomach. Poor Dan.
Dan stopped in front of Brittney. “Brittney, what about you? What does having a relationship with Jesus mean to you?”
Brittney shoved her phone under her leg. “He’s my friend.” Her voice lowered, “Sometimes my only real friend.”
Sophie’s phone buzzed again. She hoped the vibrations against the metal chair weren’t too loud. She shifted in her seat. Her fingers tingled to reach for her phone.
She sighed and gave in, reaching behind her she pulled out her phone. She stared at the glow of a new text from Brittney:
Sophie rolled her eyes. She’d risked Dan’s disappointment to find out Brittney was tired. At least he hadn’t seen.
Or had he? Sophie’s stomach churned with guilt.
Dan strolled past the semi-circle and walked back to the sound system. Whispered words escalated to a normal volume the longer Dan fiddled with the computer. Sophie glanced back at Dan. His glasses fell down on his nose again, and his grey hair flopped in his eye as he stared intently at the computer screen.
Sophie’s stomach did another somersault. How could she be so rude to Dan? He took so much time out of his day to be with them, to teach them, and even feed them. Sophie could still taste the pizza they’d had earlier. And all he wanted to do was help them get closer to God.
A worship song familiar to Sophie streamed through the speakers. Dan looked up and a lopsided grin tilted his bushy mustache up on one side of his face. The music stopped abruptly, causing Dan’s mustache to level back out. Another text buzzed on Sophie’s phone. She sighed. Dan was busy. She could check this one without being rude, right?
Sophie’s fingers wrapped around her phone as she glanced back at Dan. His eyebrows were knitted together as he stared at the computer screen. He glanced up and caught Sophie’s eye.
“I guess I’m not so computer savvy.” His voice carried over the chatter and laughter.
Sophie released her grip on the phone and walked toward him. “I might be able to help.”
She leaned over the desk, reloaded the song, clicked play, and stepped back. Worship music filled the air.
“Thanks, Sophie.” Dan held up his hand for a high-five.
Sophie grinned and smacked his hand. “It’s the least I could do, since you do so much for us.”
“I’ve done nothing compared to Jesus. He died for you, I just ordered pizza.” He chuckled, and then his face turned serious. “That’s why He’s the one who should always come first—above anyone or anything else.” He turned toward the rest of the group. “C’mon let’s worship.”
“You’re right.” Sophie whispered.
Sophie’s phone buzzed in her back pocket. She reached behind her, pulled out her phone, held the power button down until the tempting glow disappeared.