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Not Truly Alone

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, June 17.

By Andrew McChesney


elene thought that she understood the Italian language. After all, she lived in Rome, the capital of Italy, and had spoken Italian all her life.

But she noticed that boys at public school sometimes used Italian words that she didn’t understand. The boys spoke those words when Teacher couldn’t hear them or when they were outside at recess. A few of the girls also spoke these unknown words.

At home, Selene asked Mother what the children were saying. “Why do they say this?” she asked. “What does it mean?”

Mother looked sad. She explained that the children were swearing. The children were using very bad words to describe God. They were blaspheming the name of God. Probably, Mother said, the children had heard these words from their parents or other adults, and they didn’t even know that they were insulting God.

Selene felt disappointed and angry. She loved God, and she didn’t want anyone to insult Him. She tried to avoid the children who spoke that way at school.

Before long, the children knew that Selene didn’t like to hear them swear. Some of the children thought that Selene was strange for loving God. They made fun of her. Selene was sad that the children didn’t love God.

Selene felt even more sad when she saw that one of her teachers also didn’t love God. The teacher taught math and science, and she was an atheist. An atheist is someone who doesn’t believe in God.

Teacher said that God didn’t create the earth. She said the earth and everything in it began by itself. Selene didn’t believe it. She had read the Bible and knew that it said God created the world and everything in it. She wished that Teacher believed in God.

One day, Teacher asked Selene to write a report about the first astronauts who flew to the moon. For her research, Selene went online and read several books. She was very interested to read that three American astronauts flew to the moon in 1969. Two astronauts landed on the moon, but one stayed in a spaceship orbiting the moon. Selene was most interested in the astronaut in the spaceship. His name was Michael Collins. Selene wrote in her school report that Michael Collins was all alone in the spaceship. He especially was alone when the spaceship went around the dark side of the moon, and he could no longer see the earth. He saw only blackness. No people. No life.

Selene copied a quotation from Michael Collins in her report. He said, “I am alone now, truly alone, and absolutely isolated from any known life. I am it. If a count were taken, the score would be three billion plus two over on the other side of the moon, and one plus God knows what on this side.” Selene wrote in her report that Michael Collins was counting people. He was saying that there were 3 billion people living on the earth; there were two astronauts that he couldn’t see on the other side of the moon; and on the dark side, where he was alone in the spaceship, there was only one human being — him — and God.

Two and a half years passed, and Selene kept sharing her love for God. One day, Teacher said something unusual to the class. She said, “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist. But at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.” Selene didn’t quite understand what Teacher meant. But she understood that Teacher was changing her mind about God. Teacher was beginning to believe in God. Selene gave Teacher a Bible.

She is praying that Teacher learns to love God. She is praying that her classmates learn to love God. She knows that she is not truly alone. Even though the astronaut seemed all alone on the dark side of the moon, he was with God. Even though she might feel all alone at school, she is with God.