I love what Facebook does for scrapbooking and journaling people’s lives. I especially love that I can see frequently updated photos of people that I have known and loved in my lifetime.
But here’s a little story for you…
In today’s updated photos, were some new shots from a girl who was never really an ugly duckling at all. In fact, she was always talented, incredibly outgoing and vivacious. She never slighted anyone who she considered below her social status – she mixed with geeks and freaks alongside the sporty and popular kids.
Now, in her mid-20’s, she’s a knockout. She’s still an irregular height, but she has luminescent eyes. What most people don’t realise, is the stunning musical talent she has, both in voice and instrument.
I remember many late night milkshakes with her, talking about school, faith, being different people in different places. She was one of those kids at 16, you felt really belonged in the life of a 20 year old. I always liked her, thought she had real grit about her – a cliched “old soul”.
I remember commenting to a friend of mine at the time, a Christian teacher at her school, how much I had enjoyed spending time with her the night before. The replying comment with scoffing laugh, referenced this girl as the “school bike”.
I’m looking at her photograph, so beautiful, so full of life, the laughter and resonance pouring out of her. I’m thinking about the way she encouraged the less active kids on that outdoor camp and her compassion and grace with the older people at church, the ones that other kids would’ve brushed past in a moment.
I’m furious then and now with the foolishness of that teacher’s perspective. The presumption of her behaviour, good or bad. He had no idea that she was remotely involved in faith or anything like it – which showed a lack of perceptiveness also.
It made me think of Adam’s post here.
Imagine if she’d heard the tone of his voice. Imagine if she realized the perception the staff of that school had. Imagine the frailty of persona in it’s fresh new emerging forms. The ugliness of those words and that phrase… a complete contrast to the young woman engaged on screen before me. A frontier of space between the student he described and the girl I’ve known for all these years. There’s no deception here, she simply was nowhere near the girl he described, all puff and wind and smoke. Even when I spoke to her directly about it some years later – it remains clear to one who has eyes and ears, she was never any such thing.
In the last brief five minutes, I’ve had to fight back the urge to pick up the phone, to remind him with sharp words and a blistering tongue, precisely how wrong he was.
What a fool, who grasps not the beauty before him, or the foolishness of his words.
In that moment, it was he that lost my respect, and she that gained my favour. For what student ought ever, to be so condemned by one entrusted to teach, shape, guide and shepherd?