A door slammed and the little girl from next door ran out.
"Oooooh! Serious Stephen!" She squealed, using her nickname for her older brother. "Come quick and look at all of the leaves! They're so pretty!"
The door slammed again and a boy ran out. He stopped next to her. "They are pretty," he agreed, smiling at his ecstatic little sister.
"The only thing is," the girl said, growing slightly solemn and frowning thoughtfully, "that after the leaves are done falling, the trees look so thin and bare."
"Well, Little Lucy," said Serious Stephen, "the Bible tells us not to worry about that, because the LORD'S words stand forever, they don't fall away like the leaves."
"Where does it say that?" Asked the inquisitive Little Lucy, with a bright smile to her big brother.
He grinned back at her. "It's in Isaiah 40:8, and it says, 'The grass withers, the leaves fall, but the word of our God will stand forever.'" He smiled slyly as his sisters face puckered into a frown.
"Ummmmm, I don't remember that verse." Little Lucy said looking up at him with a puzzled look. "But I'm pretty sure there's a verse that says, 'the flowers fade' or something like that. Right?"
Serious Stephen started laughing, but his small sister wouldn't let him laugh for long. "Stephen!" She protested, "I asked you a question! Please?"
He cleared his throat solemnly and looked down at his sister's pleading face. "Well," he began, looking up at the blue sky, then back at Little Lucy. Her face was so expectant that he started laughing again.
"So sorry! Ahem. So it actually says, 'The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever' Isaiah 40:8."
"Well, that makes more sense!" Little Lucy laughed. Her brother joined her, and they both ran back to the house.
'The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.' A nice thought, but he didn't know what the words of God were. Maybe if he knew, it would be more comforting. Of course, he knew who God was, all of his family knew about God, but maybe if he could learn some of the words of God...well, it would be better.
He heard a twitter behind him and turned around to see what his wife needed.
"Who were those children?" She asked
"They are the ones who live in the little house right over there," (gesturing to the left with his head).
"Do you know what their names are?"
"That's funny. I thought I heard them using each others names, and thought maybe you heard what they were, being closer."
"Why, so I did!"
"Oh! So what are they?"
"I don't know."
"Are you losing your memory?" (With a concerned tilt of her head.)
"What is the matter?"
"Are you listening to me?"
"Are you worried?" she queried.
"I don't know."
"Yes, you do."
"Yep. So why are you so worried?"
"Maybe so...," he murmured absently.
"What was that?!" He shouted, snapping to attention and looking worriedly about him.
"It's just me," she replied.
"Oh!" (Looking and sounding relieved). "What do you need?"
"I need you to tell me why you're so worried."
"Well, it's no use getting all depressed before winter even comes, so let's just fly on over and say 'hello' to Cheery Chipmunk, he'll cheer you up! What do you say?"
"Sounds fine! Just fine!"
"Good! Let's go!"
And they did. They fluttered across the little meadow, and alighted on a tree branch right next to a little hole in the tree.
Singing Sparrow, (for he and his wife were sparrows), hopped up and down on the branch a couple of times and sang a little song,
"Hellooooo! Hellooo! Are you home?! «Chirp!» He hopped around so energetically that he almost fell off the branch. He fluttered around a bit, and regained his balance just as little head poked out of the hole.
(Now it may surprise you to hear that a chipmunk was living in a hole, up in a tree. But, chipmunks can climb trees, and if a good natured woodpecker offers you his old home, well, it wouldn't make good sense to refuse!)
Anyway, Cheery Chipmunk popped his head out of his hole, said 'hello' once or twice, then offered a lively, "Come in, come in!"
So they did. And they had a very cheery time, for it is impossible to see Cheery Chipmunk without suddenly feeling incredibly cheerfully cheery. You can't even mention Cheery Chipmunk's name without you and everyone else listening becoming a little more cheerful. I guess you could say that Cheery Chipmunk's cheerfulness was quite contagious.
Singing Sparrow and his wife, Small Sparrow, had just flown back to their tree and perched on the branch, when they saw the boy and girl they had seen earlier. They were looking in puzzlement at the two sparrows.
"That's funny!" Exclaimed Little Lucy, "I thought that all the sparrows had flown south already!"
"I thought so too," agreed Serious Stephen, "but now that I think of it, these ones can't fly south because if you'll remember, the lady sparrow hurt her wing a while ago."
"Oh that's right! I suppose she still can't fly very far distances. But it's going to get really cold! How do you think they'll survive?"
"God will take care of them," said Serious Stephen thoughtfully, "and there's a verse that tells us exactly that. It's Matthew 10:29, 'Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.'"
As they walked away, Singing Sparrow felt a trill of joy and warmth even though the wind was blowing and the leaves were still falling. These were the Words of God and they would stand. The LORD had said that he would watch out for he and his wife, and HIS words would stand forever.