Jesus, Matthew 5:44

Jesus, Matthew 5:44

Unbullying Beth

“…love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you…” Matt. 5:44

Another spit ball aimed at Laura went flying past, hitting the wall map and landing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.  Mrs. D was oblivious as she arranged fractions on the chalkboard.  Laura felt another sharp sting on her cheek.  As everyone burst out laughing, Mrs. D spun around, “Who threw that?”  Laura clenched her fists and her pencil snapped in two.  No one spoke as their teacher stalked up and down the aisles.  “Speak up or you get no common denominators in your homework this week.”  A tense silence gripped the room, broken by the recess bell.

“Got you again you big wimp!”  More hallway harassment from Beth the School Bully. All Beth wanted was to succeed at making Laura mad, maybe even make her cry.  Laura just ignored the harassing as she zipped up her jacket and carefully hid her hat.  Beth switched to the “showing off” tactic – flaunting the most cherished possession she ever had, a white-gold sapphire ring.  She loved showing it off to her friends.  But it was time for recess, and nobody cared.

On the playground, one of the girls spotted Laura’s hat and took off with it. “Hey look what I found – catch it, Beth!”  A red streak tumbled through the air as Beth smugly caught it without even looking.   A nervous laughter hung in the air.  Beth pitched Laura’s hat as though it were a baseball, but something slipped off her finger.  Everyone heard what sounded like metal hitting metal.  Looking in that direction, the sound became a distant echo inside the storm drain.  Beth felt for her ring but it wasn’t there.

 “My RING!” wailed Beth.  “That was my ring…”  She desperately pawed for it, but it was gone.  Big, tough Beth was suddenly reduced to sobs and tears.  Laura recalled the anguish she felt when she lost her favorite heart key pendant her aunt gave her.  She did the first thing that came to mind. She pulled her own ring off her finger and mercifully handed it over to her perpetrator, “Here Beth – don’t you think this looks a lot like the one you had?”  Beth examined it.  “Yeah, what are you telling me that for, nerd?” and she carelessly shoved the ring back at Laura.  Laura kindly refused.  “It’s yours, Beth.  Please – I want you to have it.”

Beth’s face lifted, and her gaze locked with Laura’s.  For the first time, Laura noticed the blue in Beth’s eyes.  They were as bright as a clear blue sky.  She seen wonder and life and gratefulness.  A mumbled “thanks” came from Beth’s direction.  The “recess is over” bell sounded, and for the first time Laura felt disappointed when she heard it.  Beth walked back without her usual mob, and it looked to Laura like things were going to be different.

 Listen Up     Do you know what it feels like to be in Laura’s “shoes”?  If we’re honest, we’ll admit it isn’t easy to forgive and be kind to those who hurt us.  But Jesus was “bullied” too – ultimately suffering and dying for our sin.  He set a perfect example for us on forgiving and loving our enemies.  On top of all that, he promises he will be with us.  As Jesus said, anyone can love those who love you back.  Who do you need to forgive and be kind to today? Pray for your enemies and ask God to fill you with the love you need.  Remember, one reason bullies are bullies is because they need love.
IMG_0481 (2)Jennifer loves kids galore, & helping them reach their potential more.
Privileged to have taught in the past, she’s homeschooling her boys & having a blast (most days.)
She loves being married & living in the country, with an occasional 4-legged creature sighting.
She also enjoys running & photography – but especially the fun of rhyming her writing.
She and her husband Neil have two sons and live in Central Michigan.
 Image courtesy of Microsoft Images 

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