November 4, 2007
by Victoria Davis
Age 11 at the time
The little girl sat at the edge of the classroom -- sensing the excitement but knowing her only form of participation could be observation. Squeals of delight came from the popular corner as white and pink tissue paper flew from the gift boxes wrapped in lots of curly ribbon.
Oh, she would get a gift too. But if she squealed it would be met with ridicule and various mimicking of whatever sound she made.
No, life was better for her if she was invisible. Teachers were oblivious or chose to tune out her peer-enforced solitude.
She loved people. She loved to tell jokes and laugh. But right now in this classroom -- she was the only joke. What would she do wrong today? Oh, it would be something.
And she'd see these girls at church again on Sunday with their curls, angelic smiles, and stockings, looking like the apples of their moms' eyes. Not saying anything, they would steal glances at one another as she spoke up in Sunday School -- oh, what fun they'd have tomorrow about this lesson!
And yet, there was one place she could go with complete acceptance. Her mother and father adored her and enveloped her in their respect, love, and care the moment she came home.
And -- in her room at night -- she'd open her Bible and read of her Saviour. He was a "man of sorrows." Enemies hung on his every word looking for their next point of contention with him. This man -- this Jesus -- knew what it felt like to be alone, to be made fun of even in church. To be left out and not fit in. He understands. He knows.
And snuggled under her covers beside a small lamp in the darkness, they met in conversation, talked about their day, and became best friends.