The bell dismissing us from lunch was moments from sounding as my friends and I strolled past the art display case in front of the main doors to the school. As I continued in conversation, a piece of paper creased from its folded note form was tacked above the bottom shelf in the case.
I stopped dead in my tracks and my heart began to reverberate in my ears. Sweat beaded up in the palm of my hands. Staring back at me were the words I had written to my junior high crush. There they were in neon lights for all to see.
I knew I had dropped the note somewhere between the morning bell and my last class, but I hadn’t a clue as to where until this very instant when my worst nightmare was coming true.
The note was my last attempt to gain his attention and I had poured my heart and soul into penning the words. My social status at the time was already on the low end of the spectrum, but I knew the devastation of having the entire school walk past the note would lower me to just another speck on the junior high radar map.
I was crushed. To make matters worse, he even went to the same church as I did. Adolescent depression set in and I no longer wanted to come to school but I was made to go. I spent weeks in the school counselor’s office every free period and lunchtime trying to move past the tragic embarrassment. Finally summer came, and I was free from the burden of having to deal with the side comments and stares. Word travels fast in a small school. Eventually life became a new normal, but it took time. If only I had known Jesus!
This idea may sound strange, but it is the truth! I was full of bitterness, resentment, remorse, and the letter incident haunted me even into my adult life. I realize that I still would have gone through the embarrassing moment, but the effect it had on my life would have been dramatically different because instead of allowing the event to control me, I would have been able to let go, forgive, and move on a whole lot sooner.
Jesus tells us to “…love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:44-45) Having a relationship with Jesus gives you a different perspective than what the world may have. The world’s view is actually just the opposite: hate your enemies. Jesus doesn’t say we have to like them or what they do, but we do have love them and pray for them as well. After all, they too are human beings just like we are; people who make mistakes just like we do.
I encourage you to begin a relationship with Jesus Christ today or if you know Him already but have walked away from your faith, now is the day to turn back. He may not always rescue you from embarrassing moments, but He will be there to pick you up when you fall and help save you from a life full of bitterness, unforgiveness, and remorse.