One teen tall and awkward, the other short and skinny, Roberta and Connie sought answers to life’s persistence questions –like how to get a date for the school dance. “Let’s go to the homecoming dance!” suggested Connie. “That’s where the boys are!”

So as the close friends dressed carefully for the occasion, their hope grew that someday their princes would come! Why not at the homecoming dance? Someday, they both knew, the braces and pimples would be gone. Connie would be pretty and Roberta would find a boy at least as tall as she was. Her size twelve feet would grow into the rest of her.

Roberta remembered Billy, who shared many of her classes. Just the image of the handsome chiseled features, trim body and startling eyes made her heart flutter. All these months of emotion—now was Roberta’s chance. She felt she had her heart in the right place for love. Didn’t she write on the first page of every notebook her hopes and dreams?

Roberta and Billy

Billy and Roberta

Billy loves Roberta

Roberta loves Billy

Last she chanted, “Roberta and Billy sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g…First comes love, then comes marriage…”

Anxious for the chance to see Billy outside of classes, Roberta and Connie stepped into the large, throbbing darkened room. She pulled on her friend’s arm and shouted in her ear, “Look, Connie! He’s here!”

Far across the large room sparkling with lights, Billy, surrounded by friends, laughed and smiled. But more than an hour passed and both girls still sat together on the sidelines. Finally, Roberta prayed, “God, please, please, let Billy ask me to dance!” She persisted in her plea with the Creator. When at last, she saw Billy stride in purposeful steps toward her and Connie, Roberta caught her breath. “Thank you, God!”

As Billy came closer, the handsome boy’s smile blazed. When he stepped up to where the teen girls sat, Roberta stood and leaned forward to accept a dance–or a kiss.

But Billy’s first words startled her. “Roberta, I’d ask you to dance…if you weren’t so tall!” Then he turned to Roberta’s friend, “Connie, will you dance with me?”


Roberta wondered if she could ever trust prayer, God, or boys again. In time when she grew into her feet, Roberta began to understand that prayer is communion with God. He answers prayer yes, no, and wait – for good reason, even where Billy was concerned.

Then there’s Jesus take on The Golden Rule, ““Do to others as you would have them do to you” [Luke 6:31.] No, it’s not get even or some who interpret it, “Do unto others before they have a chance to do bad stuff unto you.”

Jesus gives much direction, detail, and modeling in these famous passages,” Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27-29]. In his life, Jesus offered love and forgiveness to all–even those who mocked him, mistreated him, misunderstood him, and crucified him.

For he says, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that…But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most high, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” [Luke 6:32-36].

Love is the answer. And the opportunity to show it comes up every day – even at homecoming dances.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from, her speaking engagements and  website, Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]

About Jo Russell

Jo’s humor, inspirational stories, articles and devotionals have spanned more than 40 years, with several national writing contest awards for humor. She's a contributing author in Chicken Soup for the Soul—Shaping the New You and Heavenly Humor for the Dieter’s Soul.

Contact Jo

Find Jo on Twitter and Facebook. To schedule Jo as a speaker or to discuss your writing project and receive a free quote, call her at 928-536-2479. Or contact her using the website Contact Form.

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