“Four-eyed freak.” As much as I did not want to admit it, the words hurt. “Spider-eyes,” the twosome called as I walked away. It did not matter that the reference to eight made no sense, I still was mad. This was just the beginning of the negative attention I received while I attended grade school.
Looking back, I would have to say that I was a weird looking kid. Long curly blond hair that was always flying out of its barrettes and thick glass bottle-bottom glasses were just the start. As a missionary kid, I never was in fashion. I favored long skirts and spongy pink winter boots or scuffed dress shoes. During the bitter Michigan winters, I wore pants under my skirts at recess. On top of that, I talked too much. I would tell my life story to anyone who was long suffering enough to listen.
Knowing all this you might not find it very surprising that I attracted a pair of hecklers. Two boys that decided they wanted to get me mad. Day after day, they would follow me around the playground calling me names and singing, “I see London, I see France…,” every time I climbed the monkey bars. The few times that they approached to talk, the older boy would criticize my shoes. He had these beautiful new real leather shoes. My dirty black and worn gray girly shoes were not as good as his ‘real leather ones.’
Finally, I determined I had to do something about this harassment. After some prayer, I concluded that they were only doing this to me because they did not have any friends. Therefore, the next day, I set out to make some new friends. The recess bell rang and I set out to find them. Spotting them at the top of the hill near the building, I ran over and confronted the older boy. “I know what you are trying to do. You want me to cry. I just want you to know I am not going to and I am going to be nice to you instead. Do you want to go swing?” Surprisingly, they did. After only a couple of weeks, we were best pals spending almost every recess together for the rest of the school year. They quit commenting on my strange attire and distorting glasses. The Lord was gracious and blessed my awkward attempts at obeying Luke 6:27-28: “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”
Not every situation is as easy to solve as the one I have just related. In the nearly two decades since those school days, I have repeatedly learned that the Lord blesses when you obey His command to love those that hurt you. I have experienced the peace that He gives in the midst of persecution and the strength only He can supply. If you keep your thoughts, prayers, heart focused on Him and His will, He will provide all that you will need no matter what the circumstances. He has promised He will never forsake you.