“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
Sometimes I remember how in high school I got to see so many different people who I loved & cared about every single day, how I shared a locker with my marvelous cousin, how I used to ride around in all kinds of cars with all kinds of friends, and I think, “Dang, it would be nice to live that again.” But then I remember the homework and the drama and basically everything else about that time, and I think, “Naaaawww.” ahaha
There was a girl in my high school with bright blonde hair, bright blue eyes, bright light personality, bright brilliant mind… BRIGHT everything, basically. Like a sliver of the freaking sun itself.
It was her brightness that bothered me.
Obviously she was a constant fountain of joy & silliness because life had never been cruel to her. Obviously she didn’t understand that life had not been so gracious to all of us. Obviously I could never relate to her, someone so untouched by sorrow & shame & reality.
We had one thing in common though: a love of the Earth. Environmental Club was where I would see her each week.. glowing with her silliness, bubbling with her joy. Shining bright like that sliver of the sun that she was.
But all I could see in her was someone who didn’t understand what it was to be real.
One morning between classes I was in the girls’ bathroom, and I don’t remember what was going on with me but I know I was feeling horrible. I know this because of my reaction when I accidentally bumped my notebook off the sink and it landed on the floor. Nothing even fell out of my notebook, it had only fallen on the floor, no big deal. But because of how I was feeling it was a major deal, and I remember standing there, taking deep breaths, staring at my notebook on the floor, feeling absolutely defeated, like it was the straw that was going to break this camel’s back.
Then the voice came from beside me, amidst the hum of the hand dryers and the chatter of adolescent girls fixing their makeup in the mirrors. It was the voice of that Bright Light Girl, but that morning her voice didn’t sound naïve to me anymore, her voice only sounded gentle.
“Sometimes I have days like that too.”
Her voice landed on my hurting heart softly, like a balm, working it’s way into the cracking crevices inside me. Her bright blue eyes spoke to me of understanding, of wisdom, of someone who had suffered her share as well yet chosen joy over bitterness.
I didn’t say anything to her but I walked out of that bathroom and I started crying, and even now… all these years later, remembering that moment, remembering her simple, heartfelt words makes me cry still.
I had been so wrong about her.
Her brightness didn’t come from only living happy moments, only experiencing sunny days. Her brightness came from the Light within her, allowing her to sparkle like the sun no matter what she was living through.
Now when I think of Megan I think of Lucia from Max Lucado’s picture book about the Wimmicks. Lucia didn’t let anyone else’s opinions about who she was mark her, she simply trusted in the One who had carved her out of wood. Now when I think of Megan I’m reminded of the fact that we are always surrounded by others whose lives and presence can work like balm seeping into our dry broken places. But unless we look past what we assume separates us… we’ll never experience the beauty of learning how alike we really are. We’ll never hear that soft, gentle, beautiful voice saying, “Me too, Sister. Me too.”
“Everyday I’ve been hoping you’d come.” Eli explained.
“I came because I met someone who had no marks.”
“I know. She told me about you.”
“Why don’t the stickers stay on her?”
“The stickers only stay if they matter to you. The more you trust my Love, the less you care about the stickers.”