since there's no one else around, we let our hair grow long and forget all we used to know. then our skin gets thicker from living out in the snow.
I always thought faith was something I did for me. I needed to be saved, my soul needed eternal rest and I needed to believe in the resurrection and the cross because it is true and because it is what has worked for my mom and my friends. And I thought that by believing I would be somehow better. But, I didn’t feel better. I still sinned, only then, I noticed it more because, for the first time, I felt guilty. And I wanted to explain to people why I believed and I wanted to believe my words myself, but I hadn’t lived it, I hadn’t become like Christ. I wasn’t even sure how until I realized that faith is not about me.
It’s about love and compassion and vision and caring and it’s about hope and peace and purpose. Faith needs to be something I do for others. Something I do for God because he loved me enough to save me. It should be something I do because it is the only way to truly be good. Because we are dirty — all of us. Deep inside us live crevices that are inhabited by cobwebs and dust and things that take the shine off of the good — making selfless selfish and faith a farce. And so I want to be real. I want to understand everything, politics, humanities, religion, people. And I never want to make a decision, to take a stand, without truly understanding the issue. I’m tired of leaning one way because that’s the way I’m supposed to lean. I’m tired of religious people who go to church every Sunday and talk to their church friends but who don’t care about taking care of things like the environment and the poverty-stricken nations that could use some of the love they save for Sundays. I’m tired of people thinking of little more than America
Lately, I’ve been thinking about how much I sucked in grade school. Really sucked. It’s hard enough trying to get good grades while staying cool and fun and popular. That, alone, is more than most kids can handle. So why then did I have to take it upon myself to make some other kids’ lives a living hell? Maybe I’m projecting a bit. Because in fifth grade, I was the class loser. But then, as soon as I regained my cool status, it became my objective to stay there. And in the process, I walked all over people. So Tara and Cantrell and Angie, I’m sorry.
I feel horrible for the times I laughed under my breath at your clothing choices, your lunch food choices and your hairstyles. I’m sorry for going along with all the other kids when they laughed at you and made you feel small and undesired and unworthy. I’m sorry for how wrong that was and if I could, I’d apologize for all of the kids. Not just for me. But, this will have to suffice for now.
I’m sure that an apology can’t take away the scars we caused. You probably had to deal with those for a long time. Everyone has scars and bleeding and places that are just a bit more tender than others, but we caused your scars. And for that, I am deeply sorry.
I pray, and I mean pray, that you have been able to get past the damage we did and that you have found true friends and acceptance and grace and love. And I hope to see you all again one day and to apologize again, in person. Because no kid, no matter how awkward and uncool deserves to be bullied and laughed at and made an outcast. You didn’t deserve that. You are worth more than that. I hope that life has been kinder to you than we were.