Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: GRADUATE (08/01/19)
TITLE: Yearbook Signing
By Linda Lawrence
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Transferring into Sequoia High School at the beginning of my junior year, I looked for a place to anchor. I loved to sing so signed up for choir. One brave day I tried out for an elite girl’s chorus, Treble Clef, and was thrilled and dismayed when I was selected. Self-confidence was never my strong suit. Although I knew I was robed in Jesus’ righteousness, I always felt self-consciously exposed. Being chosen as an alto in the school’s first Madrigal group and donning a choir robe for our performances did give me a boost of confidence--at least enough to attend the graduation yearbook signing party. My picture could be found in the Music Section.
We passed our yearbooks around the gymnasium lined with seniors. Pen in hand, we sprawled our name across any picture of our faces and dashed off an extra “Have a good life” or “Glad I got to know you” with a flourish of a signature for good measure.
The gym was hot and noisy. The well-wishes seemed artificial, coming from people I barely knew by name. I watched impatiently for an opportunity to go home and lose my self-conscious self in a book.
Home, at last, propped up in bed, I flipped through the pages of my yearbook, glancing at the various cliches written over and over again. But to my great surprise, there were three entries that I’ve never forgotten. These entries were made by movers and shakers in the senior class. I didn’t think these guys knew I was alive, although they were in choir with me.
The class intellectual had written, “You seem to be a person, and that’s a high recommendation. I hope you find something real and fulfill your ‘self’.” This is the guy who at a class reunion, a few years later, bragged about his liaison with a 16-year-old Sunset Strip acid queen in the summer of love.
The class rebel wrote, “Recently I find myself thinking about you. It’s always enjoyable to contemplate what you represent and stand for.” He was chosen to be a graduation speaker but then disqualified because he refused to rent the required cap and gown. I don’t know what happened to him, but he was dead by our class’s 25th reunion.
The next entry was even more surprising. “From what I see, you are more in contact with the Beautiful than most. I hope your understanding grows to the proportions you desire. I hope you desire great understanding.” This from the guy who spent the next ten years in rock and roll and touring with the production Hair.
I must confess my heart beat a little faster as I received such affirming words from the most improbable of sources. In spite of my feeling a nobody in a sea of students, God blessed me with the privilege of unconsciously and unknowingly shining for Him to three young men heading toward deep and dark waters.
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