All things that "strike a chord" in me.
It’s rare that I run across something that makes me weep for the future one moment, and within seconds, restores my faith in humanity at large. This story did it.
(My favorite line in this story: “It’s like ‘Carrie,’ but with a happy ending.”)
For those of you with short attention spans, here’s the short, short version: An “unpopular” girl in a Detroit high school was voted homecoming queen as a joke. In a brilliant reversal, the entire town rallied around her, providing everything she needs to have a spectacular night.
My junior high/high school experience wasn’t all that dissimilar. OK, not to that extreme, but I was alternately picked on and ignored most of the time. Why? I was “different.” I was involved in music and drama, and had no interest in organized sports whatsoever. I was shy, so I didn’t date much. Heck, I didn’t socialize much at all outside of my small social circle. In fact, I worked really hard to become invisible, to blend in so that I could avoid the grief.
In some ways, I still try to blend in; to not be noticed. I don’t want to make waves, I usually just want to go about my business and avoid conflict.
This, I realize now, makes for a very boring, mediocre existence.
It is also not what I was made to be. I spent a lot of time trying to either fit in or disappear that I lost sight of (maybe never even knew) who or what I was designed to be. Consider II Timothy 1:6-7. I was doing anything but “fanning into flame” the spiritual gifts God gave me. I spent most of my time trying to douse the flame, or at the very least dim the lights, lest a pubescent verbal sniper catch sight of it and pick me off again.
Now, at least, I catch glimpses of who God intends for me to be. And it transcends standard labels. I’m more than just a keyboard player in a church band. I’m more than a laborer, a single man, a pop culture trivia geek. I am all these things, but I’m no longer defined by them. At the core of my soul, I’m a worshiper. I’m a friend and confidant. I’m one of God’s dearly loved kids. And nothing anyone can say or do can ever change that. Let ’em try. I’ve got something greater than a mere town to rally around me. I have a “huge crowd of witnesses” cheering me on to “finish the race.”
Take that, ya big, dumb bullies.