Sarah stared in horror at the shattered pieces of her phone on the floor.
She was really in trouble now. She let out a sigh and looked pleadingly at Lisa, who had been her best friend since first grade. What was she going to do?
“Maybe it will be ok,” Lisa said. She bent down and picked up the phone. She frowned as more pieces of glass fell to the floor.
Tears welled up in Sarah’s eyes. “It’s completely destroyed!”
Things could not get any worse. On Sunday her mom took the phone away after Sarah and Lisa started a MeTube channel. She was grounded from the phone “until further notice.” How will Sarah explain this?
“I have to do something.” Sarah looked around as if the living room would give her the answer.
“Why don’t you just tell your mom—”
“No!” Sarah said. “I’ll never be allowed on the internet again!”
“I don’t see how you can fix this though,” Lisa said.
Sarah tapped her chin as she thought of an idea. “What if I just put the phone back where she hid it?”
“No. Listen.” Sarah picked up the plastic sandwich bag that Mom had originally placed the phone in, off the coffee table. “If I put the bag back, she might not even bother to look at the phone. She’ll probably just forget about it.”
Lisa scrunched her eyebrows and gave Sarah a disbelieving look.
The next day in class, Sarah couldn’t help feel something was off. She kept thinking about the phone, but then shrugged it off.
“We’ll be visiting the St. Mary Magdalene Retreat Center,” Ms. Morrow interrupted Sarah’s thoughts and handed out permission slips for this year’s Lenten Retreat.
“You’ll need a packed lunch. We will learn about St. Mary in the morning. After lunch we will go to confession and then Mass.”
Sarah’s eyes widened. Confession? She wasn’t sure if she could do it. She would have to tell the priest about stealing her phone back…and disobeying her parents. Her heart was racing. Suddenly she understood what that nagging feeling was earlier. She knew what she had done was wrong. The only question now was would she be able to go through with her Confession?
The day of the retreat was finally here, and Sarah wished she could hide under her covers. However, before she knew it, she was with her class on the way to the retreat. She enjoyed seeing all the beautiful pictures and hearing the stories about St. Mary Magdalene. She started to feel a little better until lunchtime. She knew the time was near. She picked up a small orange, examined it and then put it down. She couldn’t eat with her stomach doing nervous somersaults.
After lunch Sarah stood in line with Lisa for confession. It was eerily quiet. Finally, it was her turn. Her heart thumped in her chest. She began the confession and then paused when it was time to list her sins.
“It’s okay,” Father said. “Take your time.”
Something about the tone of his voice eased Sarah’s fears. She took a deep breath.
“I broke a rule, and when Mom took my phone, I stole it back.” The sentence came out so fast it felt like one word. “And then I broke it by mistake.” When she finished, she felt a huge sense of relief. Father finished the confession with forgiving the sin, a blessing and suggesting a penance. Which included coming clean to Mom.
As she left the confessional, she felt lighter and happier. She no longer had that nagging feeling and lingering thoughts about the phone. Instead, all she could think about was her new beginning with God.