I was one of the quietest kids at school. Very soon, I found that because I was not outspoken and confident, I had very few friends. Not long after, kids at school began to look down on me, because I was tongue-tied. With each passing year, it brought immense hurt to my heart as I began to question my self-worth.
I began to question God as I was faced with my anger, brokenness and the loneliness I felt. But instead of taking away the pain in my heart, God added an additional spoonful of heaviness when I found him widening my heart to feel the pain of others around me.
I could never forget that kid. Whenever he passed by, he was ridiculed and mocked. He didn’t have physically appealing features. The other students looked down at him for his untidy exterior. The teacher would repeatedly ask him to make eye contact, but to little avail. The others always wore a smart and confident look while this kid would walk with his head bowed towards the ground.
As I observed this, my eyes would be filled with tears as I looked at him being called out and laughed at as he was considered ‘dumb’ and unintelligent because of his poor grades. And as the others teased him with his surname or threw chalks at his face, all he did was to respond with his smile, as he would continue to chew his pencil.
Here’s what got interesting.
I found God had begun to soften my heart towards such kids who would be looked down upon because they didn’t fall within the ‘established’ norms or had a remarkable, distinguishing feature. It could be a bodily feature or even a personality trait which was questioned and challenged if it was strong enough to stand apart from others.
When God showed me how it felt like to be ‘one of them’, my heart gradually began to get retuned to understand and to recognize that pain such that I would not cause the slightest harm to anyone. Very soon, I began to listen to what God was trying to speak to me through my brokenness.
There in my loneliness, with tears, I found that I had my Omnipresent friend all along the way. In his purpose, my heart was learning to become humble and I was able to empathize with others. It felt like I was being taught to become like him and love like him.
Read Part 2 in the next blog.