In the early to mid 1990’s a little girl bounced, pigtails swinging, into her first day of kindergarten. She insisted on going in alone. As her young parents watched her disappear in the door, both their eyes welled up with tears. This bittersweet day that they, both looked forward to and dreaded had finally come – and it was more bitter than sweet.
You see, this little girl had courageously overcome at least one surgery every year to correct birth defects. The doctors said she would be both blind and brain-damaged to her devastated, but faithful parents at birth. Each year, she would desperately reach back for her parents as staff took her from ‘The Bunny Room’ (where children could choose a toy before surgery) off to the operating room. God honored their faith and through the expert staff at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis TN., she was neither blind nor brain damaged – God worked a miracle in her life.
Her mind was sharp, and God blessed her with sight in one eye and a prosthesis that fit perfectly over the other eye that both looked and moved perfectly.
However, as beautiful as she was, there were still some minor, subtle features that made her feel uncomfortable…and we all know how cruel children can be in school.
This little girl walked in with the excitement and hope of all children to have the friends and normal school experience that all children deserve…and yes she did make good friends. But, there are always those children and some adults who love to amuse themselves and affirm themselves at the expense of others.
This sweet little girl was BULLIED.
This sweet little girl would have her expectations of a happy school year ripped from under her EACH year by a few other children who felt she didn’t deserve to be happy at school.
They weren’t there at the ‘Bunny Room’ before surgery…
They weren’t there for the pain as the scars healed…
They weren’t there as she looked in the mirror desperately wanting to just feel normal…
They weren’t there when she begged morning after morning to stay home from school…
They weren’t there when she looked her parents though tears asking “why don’t they like me?”
This constant emotional, physical and psychological abuse slowly chipped away at her self-esteem as her parents did everything they could to help their sweet child. There are few things worse than sending your child to a hostile environment…with little to no power to change it.
Sometimes as she put her head in her hands to escape to herself for a few moments, children would still poke her in the back of the head. WHAT IF, in a temporary moment of rage she raised her head and blindly lashed out with a pencil striking one of the bullies in the temple with a pencil…who would be made to look the villain in this situation.
She wasn’t the villain, and didn’t ask to be the victim.
As much as violence has no place in our schools, we must ask ourselves WHY when some students lash out.
When I watch some tragic news stories, I sometimes wonder what led to that point. It isn’t always violent video games and music that lead to such behavior…they sometimes provide the fuel for emotions that have been created through bullying.
Yes, some people come out on top after years of bullying, but everyone isn’t blessed with the same coping mechanisms…some just can’t handle it.
This young lady made it through school allowing herself to continue being hurt, without hurting someone else…but if she had, the last thing she deserved was to be portrayed as a villain and possibly imprisoned because she couldn’t take it any more.
I am in no way defending those children who violently attack their fellow students and teachers, but we must be honest enough with ourselves to realize that SOMETIMES…there is more to the story.
Unfortunately, bullying doesn’t stop in school. Adults do the same thing once they begin working. There are bullies in our offices, stores, factories…anywhere people can work. One of my greatest disappointments in ‘growing up’ in realizing how many of us don’t.
When someone is born with challenges that most of us don’t have to endure, let us not allow bullies to ruin their lives. Too many time our culture not only allows, but sometimes supports this behavior. Let us be sensitive to them, Let us embrace them, nurture them…they deserve to enjoy life as everyone else.
This young lady turned out to be a beautiful person both inside and out – to God be the Glory!
Just as the man born blind in John Chapter 9, many times God has special purpose to get glory out of their lives. Their lives are meant for PURPOSE and not PAIN.
John 9:1-3 (NKJV)
Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.