When I was in junior high, I met a girl at my bus stop that was “unusual”. Let’s call her Carolyn. She was the weird kid. You know, the one no one quite knew how to talk to. She was cerebral, she was super tall and truthfully, kind of awkward. She sort of looked like a young man, with broad shoulders and long legs. She had the uncanny knack of saying the wrong things at the wrong time and then covering her social gaff with a horse-laugh. Being around Carolyn kind of freaked me out. I was not naturally a mean kid, but not unlike many others, could succumb to peer pressure. Every morning I would see Carolyn walking to the bus stop – alone. My pals Danny, Jim, Patty and Cheryl wanted nothing to do with her. So they ignored her. I ignored her.
Carolyn was lonely, I could tell – because as soon as she saw us her face would light up like she wanted to hang with us. Then one of the boys would say something unkind – and that light would be replaced with shame and darkness. This went on for months. Then one day, I had to stay late at school. It was fall and the afternoon got dark fast. I was pretty small in stature and felt kind of intimidated walking home in the dark by myself. As the bus left me off at the corner, I checked around and noticed the street lights weren’t on yet, but they should have been. They were probably on summer timers still.
As I took off to my house (which was about 2 miles away), I noticed a white sedan slowing down next to me as I walked down the road. My heart was beating and I was feeling very creeped out. I started to hasten my steps and look around for a house I could just dip into the backyard if I needed to. The car stayed with me. I remember praying to God to help me. (mind you, I only believed in a God at the time as some wizened old grand dad who “fixed” things). In my kid mind, He was just one step up from Santa Claus, if you know what I mean.
None the less, I prayed anyway – because that is what humans do when they are scared. Just at that moment I heard a house door open and the horse-laugh. It was Carolyn. She was leaving Mr. Lamana’s house – where she took cello and piano lessons. (I told you she was cerebral) ;). She had her big cello case with her and saw me. She called my name as she came along side of me. Remember, I told you she was a big gal. In the dark, the man in the white car couldn’t be sure if she was a big kid or an adult. Never mind. The car disappeared.
Was Carolyn God’s answer to my prayers? Probably. But in a way, it might have also been an answer to her own. As she and I became good friends from that point on. We walked home from school together whenever we could, and I would frequently stop in on the morning trek if I walked that way. I learned a lot about her in the two years she lived in my neighbourhood. She was an only child. She was lonely. Her parents were distracted…I tried to learn piano from her. She tried to play soccer with me. We would go down to the creek to play. Ride our bikes to the park. Cheryl and Patty thought she was weird. I didn’t really care if it cost me their friendship.
Then one day Carolyn moved. I didn’t even know she was going to leave. Apparently neither did she. Just one summer day after 8th grade she came home and her mom said she and Carolyn were moving back north…that day.
I never saw my friend again. I was sad to see her leave. She never got in touch. It wasn’t as easy to stay in touch back then, as long distance phone calls were expensive and I never even thought to get her address (because she didn’t know it at that moment).
So here is the moral of the story. In knowing Carolyn, I learned that there really are no variances in who God loves. He has a plan for everyone. She was tall and stout, I was small and petite. We were different. We were the same…and God knew what each of us needed in that snap shot of life. Carolyn is part of the tapestry of my life that God has been busy weaving all along.
I learned a valuable adolescent lesson then. To God, there are no weird kids. Just kids to love. Adults to love. People to love.
As a follower of Christ I will tell anyone about Jesus Christ…if they will listen. In a world that flips out half of the time when you talk about Jesus…well that makes ME the weird kid…and that is just fine by me. 😉 ‘Cause this I know – God loves the “weird” kids too.
Father God, let me always have eyes to see others the way you see them, love others the way love them and respond to them and their needs the way you would… Not in my strength or understanding, but to your Will. Amen and amen.
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,[a] serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation,be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.[b] Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[c] to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.