Sunday, December 22, 2013

Violet's Postcards

Violet sat with her soccer coach, Aaron, in the high school cafeteria.  He had asked if she would share her story.  She was scared at first because she thought the Royal Chargers—one of the cliques at school—would overhear and attack her when she opened up.

Aaron stroked his beard.  "If you tell me your story, I can help you," he said.  "I'm here to support you."

Violet trembled as she spoke.  She shared about how the clique members tried to bully their fellow member Jonathan when he told them he was going to take her to the prom.  They didn't think she was suitable because she wasn't one of them.

A few kids pulled their cafeteria chairs closer so they could listen to her story.

She talked about how leaders of the Royal Chargers set up special meetings to inform her and Jonathan it was wrong for them to go to the prom together.  When Jonathan told them he no longer wanted to be a Royal Charger, one of the leaders tore out her heart and stomped on it.

Violet felt safe with Aaron.  She let out all her pain.  Sometimes she threw up into her bowl.  Sometimes she wondered if she was being too open or frank in her honesty.

"You're hating yourself," observed Aaron.

She didn't understand why it was taking so long for her to forgive the bullies.  "I'm mad at myself for being angry at them.  I don't like being angry.  I just want to love them," she said.

The small crowd that had gathered continued to grow as she shared her feelings and stories.

One of the Royal Chargers, wearing a mask of anonymity, protested twice during her outpourings.

Violet continued anyway because she was beginning to recognize her purpose, to understand her worth as a human being, to see that though she was imperfect she had something very good to offer the world.  When she made mistakes, she admitted them and apologized.

The next day, Violet and Aaron sat in the cafeteria again.  She placed a stack of postcards on the table and began to write on them.  At first she wrote all about herself.  It was her way of taking care of herself and Aaron approved of her method.

Eventually she was writing quotes and verses and fun little things so she could hand them out to people in the crowd.  This made her happy.  There were a couple of girls in particular who really loved her postcards and felt they were finally getting the type of encouragement they were looking for.

Sometimes other kids would put their own postcards onto her table.  Sometimes her writings were stupid, but she took comfort in knowing she could throw the stupid ones in the garbage if she wanted.

Then one kid chucked his postcard at her.  Violet thought it looked sort of like her own story so she set it down, but when she did Aaron said, "This one concerns me.  Can you tell me why you're keeping it?"

While she tried to sort out her thoughts, one of the Royal Chargers yelled, "There are three of us getting your postcards and we are totally offended!  The past is in the past, so forget about it.  You are GOSSIPING.  We should not have to stand around and BABYSIT you to make sure you are not doing this bad thing!  I don't care if you're being positive or negative.  You are NOT to hurt us with your dumb postcards anymore!  You are supposed to be loving us!"

"What the heck?" said a guy in the crowd.  "Don't you have anything better to do?"

Another gasped, "That is unreal!"

"Unbelievable!" said another.

Violet blinked and looked at the postcard again, then she stood up so she could observe the kid who gave it to her.  He looked like a clown.  "I think I'll put this one in the garbage," she said to Aaron.

She glanced at the Royal Chargers.  "Well," she said, "I'm still a broken human being.  But there is such a thing as forgiveness.  Everyone needs that."

When she sat down in her chair again, tears were running into Aaron's beard and his fat pink lips curved into a smile.

"The Royal Chargers have no authority over me," said Violet to the crowd.  "Jesus is my authority.  He has given me healing, and I am free."

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