Monday, April 30, 2012

Childhood bullies

Recently I have been speaking to some people about their past.

This has got me thinking more than ever about my own childhood, especially the early teenage years.  I did an interview recently where I bared some of the feelings of insecurity I had while being "bullied" or made fun of.

What gives other children the right?  I ask myself this question now in my adult years.  I can still conjure up images and feelings of the pain I felt during those times.  The laughter, snickering, belittling.  The name-calling.  I was a victim.  A helpless victim of stupid children who may have not known any better.  Right?  For if they knew better, perhaps they would have stopped, put themselves in my shoes if even for a moment......

Each day, as I walked to school, I would hope: "Maybe today will be different.  Maybe today will be the day they realize I am just like them.  I am not some verbal punching bag."  But as the day began, the assaults would start, my stomach would clench and I would shut down.  Retreat into silence and humiliation.  I even remember one particularly bad day, I just left school, walking home without telling a soul.

I live my life with the adage "Everyone has a story."  I try to think about the young people who hurt me so badly, wondering if they truly did have a story.  Was there something going on in their own world, some reason they had to lash out at another?  Were they being victimized by a parent perhaps, or other children themselves? 

My brother, who had also been taunted in school, told me once of a fellow who had approached him a few years ago and had actually apologized for how he treated him back then.  I commend this young man.  It must not have been easy for him to admit.  But I think of countless others of us who may never hear an apology or reason for being the one singled out in such a cold, heartless way.

I can tell you this.  It is time to forgive them.  These stupid ghosts from our pasts.  We may never know why we became the victim of such heartless regard.  If we give it to Christ, knowing He is the true healer, the true vindicator of all our hurts, past and present, we can find healing.  Let's do it.  Lets together give it up, give it to the One who truly loves us unconditionally.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Times like these

     We live our lives in a hurry.  Our childhood rushes by in a blur of smudged sidewalk chalk, scabby knees and sleepovers.  The teen years flow into adulthood through acne covered angst and countless nights of wondering if the phone will ring.
     So when did I get to this age?  This so-called mid life age?  Wasn't my mother always supposed to be the protector, the grown up?  When did she become so fragile, so broken, salt and pepper hair thinning, skin beginning to crinkle?  Wasn't she always going to be there for me?  I need you now mom.  I am baking Easter Bread.  Don't you remember how many eggs go into the recipe?
     But she doesn't remember.  She is beginning to forget.  She needs her family, her children around her more than ever.  Now I am the parent, the comforter.  I am the grown up.  I didn't ask for this, but here it is in plain sight.   No escaping the inevitable.
     One thought rises above the confusion, the fear during times such as this.  My Lord God will provide.  He will be there to carry us through this dark, confused time.  He will never leave us nor forsake us.  I can rest in these promises.
     Allow me to slow down, Lord.  Allow me to enjoy every moment with Mom.  Allow me to be thankful for all the wonderful years with her. 
     The phone rings.  It is her!  And I can still make her laugh!  Yes, I am very, very thankful.