I started high school in the 10th grade, having completed my 9th grade year in a middle school. The high school I attended was completely my choice, having chosen the high school based on the emphasis is placed on math and computers. It seemed at first that my years in high school would fly by but little did I know what was ahead of me.
It didn’t take too long in my first year there to find out just how cruel some people could be. I was constantly bullied, not quite like what they show on TV, but I was constantly made fun of for being different. I, unlike the majority of the student, was white and even though I had grown up around Hispanics, I was seen by many as an outsider. To illustrate just how much of an outsider I was, in my senior year I was voted most like to be be found on the back of a milk carton. I was labeled a misfit, someone who was completely clueless.
In the 11th grade I made things much more difficult for myself when I discover the high school had a Bible club. Even though I knew this would make matters worse for me, I joined. It was somewhat of a release for me, being able to turn over all my problems to someone who would help me. Yet, even with this in my life, it seemed as though my problems would be going no where.
The harassment did not stop nor did the name calling. I stood my ground with the Bible club and in fact started to make some friends within the club. I helped get some new Bibles for the club as being the type of club it was within a high school, there really was no funding for those types of items.
Then, when it seemed like I could not possibly make matters worse, I decided to start a pen-pal service. Not just any pen-pal service either, but a Christian-based service called Christian Fellowship. One of my teachers applauded the idea and a few students quietly signed up. Yet, it seemed that as the word got out about my “project”, the bullying continued. That is until one day, the one guy who had been bullying me the most came to see me.
He wanted to know why it was that with all the bullying, I decided to join a Bible club. Then I decided to start a silly pen-pal service. He just could not figure me out especially since I never fought back and just stood there taking all the insults and shoving. He wanted to know what was wrong with me and he brought along a few friends who wanted to know as well.
For the first time in my life I spoke up for myself against all the name calling. I told him about a man who was falsely accused, beaten bloody, and killed when he had done nothing wrong. I told him that this man had gone through all this excruciating pain for me and for him. He looked at me with a look that would make grown men cry and called me a liar. No one had ever done that for him and he doubted anyone had done it for me.
When I would not change my story, he demanded to know who this person was that did all this. I looked at him and stated that it was Jesus, the son of God. He was shocked and I continued on with my story. I told Him about some of the miracles Jesus had performed while he was here and about how Jesus loves him. And that even with all the bad things he had done to me, I forgave him and loved him as well.
With tears streaming down his face he asked me how I could forgive him for all he had done. He had treated me so badly and hurt me. How could I forgive him and not have bad feelings towards him. He, after all, did not want to use the word love in front of his friends. I told him that if Jesus, who was innocent, could do it for me, that I could do it for him.
Little did this young man know or even realize that all of his friends were crying too. I cannot remember this young mans name nor do I know if he ever truly turned his life over to Jesus, but I know that for that brief moment I touched him. I pray that he has continued on his journey to seeking God. I know I keep him in my prayers.