Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: White (10/29/09)
By Angie Wolf
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A jury of two sits in a parental jury box consisting of a dining room table and four chairs made of mahogany.
I slowly approach the makeshift courtroom almost expecting to hear, “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” In my humanness, I am fearful of the verdict. I could walk backward, out the door, and into the safety of a judgeless hallway, but I continue to step forward. The thought occurs to delay my punishment with the words, “I’m not feeling good.” or “Could you hold on a minute? I’ve got to go to the bathroom.” or what I most often say in situations where the fist of blame is being shaken at me, “It isn’t my fault.” But it is my fault. I know it. They know it. Everyone who knows my name knows it, even if they didn’t actually witness me committing the unlawful act. There are those who say I am wise beyond my years while others claim that I am foolish. Regardless of the opinion of me, I’m still guilty.
My breath is shallow, but not as shallow as the defense that they will perceive I am using on my own behalf. I’ve been in this place before. In fact, I’ve had to face my accusers many times. I’ve got a reputation that precedes me. I wish I didn’t. Sometimes I long to be compliant like the majority, but it’s just not my way. “Rebellious” should have been my first, last, and middle name. That is why I don’t fit in the popular crowd like a pair of shoes that are a size too small and that will never fit no matter how much they are stretched. My peers seem to conform naturally, but I’m convinced that I’m better off just being who I am. So, I don’t conform. I don’t even try.
Sometimes I think it would be easier if I did. I wouldn’t be persecuted as much. Instead, it seems that my spirit is used for target practice by those who refuse to see and celebrate my uniqueness. Maybe they mistreat me because of fear. Fear of what they don’t understand. Fear of what they do understand. I wish I knew the reasons why. Or perhaps I really don’t, because if I did know I’d be tempted to change into an image and likeness of them. No, I’m content with who I am, and I’m willing to face the music of my own making, even if it doesn’t sound like the dictionary’s definition of a symphony.
I am thinking that the jury might as well be my executioner, although its members would like me to believe that they have my best interest at heart. Once the judgment is rendered, it’s final and I sense that every ounce of my individuality will be buried in an unmarked grave of conformity. The jury will justify its decision on the basis of parental authority. The members will claim to know the entire story. But how could they? Never have they slipped into my skin and followed my soul’s leading. They couldn’t, even if their lives depended upon it. They’re not like me nor will they ever be. They cannot be persuaded to act or react according to conscience.
I plead “Guilty” as charged. I stand in silence and await words of correction. I know that the penalty for breaking the law is strict. They open their mouths and much to my surprise offer a stay of execution with the condition that I hold my peace and limit future public expressions.
This is the penalty I must pay for being a fervent follower and dedicated disciple of Jesus Christ.
I’ve been whitewashed.
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