Monday, November 22, 2010

How Embarrasing for me, Right?

Lately I have been thinking a lot about my life.  You know, like where I am, and where I am going.

To be perfectly honest, these thoughts, these dreams, these internal dialogs have been pretty exciting.  I don't think there has ever been a time in my life where I could have said things were "clicking" any better than right now.  Its just pretty exciting when your abilities, your desires, and your opportunities all just seem to line up.  Not to say that I don't have problems or frustrations, I just mean to say that right now I truly feel like I am meant to be here.

But...as is all to often the norm, at least for me, when I think about the good things going on I am often reminded of all the crap.

Back in high school, I attended the youth group at church.  Like most youth groupers, I was able to separate these two worlds, high school and church, by ideology, however, I had another means to develop the divide, geography.  Our church was about half an hour from my house and my house was about half an hour from my high school.  The distance allowed me to live two lives, have two sets of friends, be two Steves.  Very rarely did these worlds collide, and I spent quite a bit of time and energy keeping them apart, but there was always one constant reminder of my duality, Gary.

Gary was a kid that went to our church AND my high school.  He was a quiet kid that pretty much kept to himself.  At the time, I would have considered him my friend, my church friend, but at school I avoided him.  I think he had his own set of friends, school friends, but I can't say for sure.  I would literally walk the other way when I saw him coming.

It was pretty easy to avoid Gary at school because we were always doing different things.  Most of Gary's classes were in one building towards the front of campus, mine were scattered all over.  I was involved in sports, but Gary was not very athletic; he was more introverted, meaning he was a loner.  After school if there wasn't a practice or a meeting there was some other type of team event going on, but Gary went straight home.

Gary also had some trouble getting around.  He didn't have a license which meant he was at the mercy of his parents to get him around.  I also think he lived kind of far from the school, but I am not sure because I never went to his house.  I was too busy in my life, and anyway, I really didn't want to be known as Gary's friend.

I know, I know.  This stuff happens all the time.  People have different peer groups.  Sometimes they just don't get along.  We can't all be expected to hang out together all the time, but...

 that is not exactly what happened here.

Gary, that shy quiet kid, that kid living his life internally as opposed to externally, that "friend" of mine had Muscular Dystrophy, and I was embarrassed to be seen with him.  

Gary was in a wheel chair and had a hard time getting around.   


How embarrassing for me, right?  

Gary's body was failing him and he had a hard time communicating.  You really had to pay attention to him and at times you needed his parents to interpret.

How embarrassing for me, right?

Gary was in special education classes and his friends, I can only assume, were in special education as well. 

How embarrassing for me, right? 

I would love to have a conversation with Gary about how sorry I am.  I would love to ask for forgiveness for how poorly I treated him.  I would love to tell him how I wish I would have been his friend, and spend some time being his friend.  I would love to a lot of things for Gary, but I can't.

Gary died before I could get over myself.

So, unlike those who will complain, and argue, and defend their actions before the King (see: Matthew 25:33-46) I KNOW when I failed my Lord, my Savior, the least of these.

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