In order to tell you about high school, I need to begin in college. (I know that's backward, but hang with me.) During my first month at Taylor, someone said something that would forever change me. I have no idea who made the comment or why they felt compelled to speak. What I do know is that for whatever reason, this person looked me in the eyes and simply stated "You're so nice." That may not sound like a life altering statement to you, but it rocked my world.
You see, all of the sudden I realized that NO one had ever said that about me. Now, I'm sure that my parents or family friends had uttered the words, but my high school "friends" had never. What was more alarming was that, in that instant, it all became perfectly clear. I wasn't nice. I wasn't outright mean, but I wasn't nice. I was disapproving, self righteous, and critical. I expected everyone else to live by my standards and I offered them no grace or love.
There were very few who withstood the wrath of my convictions. Everyone knew where I stood on nearly every issue and I didn't even have to say a word, the condemnation was written all over my face. I was a resounding gong (1Cor. 13) and no one wants a gong at their party.
I wish I could apologize to each person who received my judgement instead of love. I wish I could tell them that I missed the boat. That I should have loved them just like my Savior loves me. I wish I could tell them just how wrong I was and just how sorry I am to have missed an opportunity to show them the love of Christ.
I am thankful for the few friends who loved me in spite of myself. For those who stuck around to see me into adulthood. Mostly, I am thankful that God doesn't need lousy old me. I am grateful that he covers my mistakes and loves me right where I am. Ugly and all.