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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Blue (10/08/09)

TITLE: Hidden Blessing
By Michael Joshua


Mark was average by most standards. He stood in at five-foot-nine, though like most guys, he fudged a little and told people he was five-foot-ten, he had blond hair, green eyes and was mediocre at basketball. With his square jaw and noticeably perfect posture, he was an obvious presence when he entered the room. But that was not what people noticed initially. For an unknown reason, his skin was blue. Not just a hint of blue, but he looked like someone had taken carbon paper and rubbed the ink on his body. He appeared almost purple under the lights of the high school auditorium.

When his name was called to speak to the graduating class as valedictorian, he stood and walked slowly to the podium. Clearing his throat, he began by thanking the faculty, his family and fellow students for a high school experience that exceeded his expectations. The one thing that he wanted everyone to know, he continued, was that throughout his life - from elementary, middle school and high school - his mother had impressed upon him one thing – that he was blessed. He explained that being blue certainly had its issues, but it was also a blessing that he could not put into words most of the time. Having the opportunity to address the student body, he had worked on this speech for hours just to get it right.

“Being blue has always allowed me to offer a challenge to everyone that I met. Simply by walking into a room, I threw down a gauntlet. Of course, there were those that made fun of me, but most people took the time to get to know me. I appreciate that. I probably know more of the students and faculty here than any other student: just because I am different. I didn’t mind that my different color is what compelled you to get to know me. Face it, being blue is the mother of all ice-breakers and everyone here knows my name. Even if you don’t know me, you know my name. But the true blessing came about quietly, without you even realizing it. By knowing me, and accepting me, your perception of people who are different has changed. It is no longer as easy to make fun of others or to dismiss them without consideration. As high school students, you have learned to be compassionate – many adults go through their whole life and do not learn this.”

Mark closed by saying, “Thank you again to each one of you, you made me feel welcomed and wanted. When my mom told me that I was blessed, I did not understand it - until the four years that I spent with you. I truly hope that my blessing has in turn blessed you, because that is what my Christian life is all about.”

As he turned to walk back to his seat, the auditorium erupted in cheers, the faculty stood, many with tears in their eyes. Mark thought to himself, surely God was pleased.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Ruth Brown10/18/09
Very unusual way to make a memorable character.Good writing.
diana kay10/21/09
Thank you what a good story and how with the right attitude one can turn a "disfigurement" into an asset. I had a friend at school who had blue bithmarks on her face, that looked like ink patches. Once to her embarassement a temporary teacher had told her to "Go wash that mess off your face!"
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/25/10
This is such an outstanding message. You really spoke the truth about getting to know someone who is different. We may be changing the world without even realizing it.