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King David looked up at the blue, blue sky. The king was remembering his youth. He thought about all the days he had spent taking care of his father’s sheep. He remembered the special day when the prophet Samuel had come and had poured olive oil on his head and told him that God had chosen him to be the next king.

David remembered the days he had lived in the palace with King Saul. Then David thought about King Saul’s son Jonathan. Jonathan had been his best friend.

David sighed. Jonathan had died as a soldier in a battle. David missed him. He remembered how they used to gallop their horses. How they used to shoot their arrows. How they had promised to be friends forever. Then he remembered that he had promised to be kind to Jonathan’s family.

Suddenly David had a new thought: Is anybody from Jonathan’s family still alive? King David sent for Ziba, who had been a servant in Saul’s house. Ziba ran to the palace and bowed before the king. “Is anyone from Saul’s family still alive?” King David asked Ziba. “If there is, I want to show them God’s kindness.”

“Yes,” Ziba answered. “One of Jonathan’s sons is alive. Mephibosheth, a crippled lad. He was hurt as a child and is crippled in both feet.”

King David smiled. “I want to see him,” he said. So the king sent servants to bring Mephibosheth to the palace.

Mephibosheth’s stomach began to hurt when he heard King David’s message. He knew that his grandfather, King Saul, had treated David badly. Why did King David want him to go to the palace? Was the king going to hurt him? He knew he couldn’t say no, but he really didn’t want to see King David.

When Mephibosheth arrived at the palace, he bowed very low before King David. “I am your servant,” he said.

“Don’t be afraid!” David said kindly. “Your father, Jonathan, was my best friend. That’s the reason I wanted you to come here. I am giving you all the land that once belonged to your grandfather Saul. And I want you to live here with me at the palace.”

Mephibosheth’s mouth dropped open with surprise. “Why do you want to do such nice things for me?”

“Because I loved your father very much,” the king answered, “and I promised him I would take care of his family.”

So it was that Mephibosheth moved into the palace. David always treated Mephibosheth as if he were his own son. And David and Mephibosheth soon became good friends too.