"Time 4 Love" September 24, 2015 by A.J.
I am currently writing a fiction book titled "Middle of Nowhere" that I hope to publish once complete. The story mirrors much of the feelings I felt growing up, that I either never expressed or there was a situation, not necessarily involving or directed at me, but nevertheless, it became a part of me, usually not in a good way. These things would become, early on, the beginning of years of bottling up feelings and emotions.
I write today though, not about me but rather about a neighbor kid who I related to, but never stood up for nor befriended, even though I often wanted to, but worried more about my affiliation with him, causing me grief.
This neighbor, not remembering his name, I will call him Ryan. Ryan, was being raised be two gay men. This was in the mid 80's when being gay was not much different than having leprosy in biblical times. Ryan was harrased all the years he lived near me. I'd like to say "at least I didn't do the harrassing," But not standing up for him and occasionally even laughing along with the bullies, made me just as bad as them.
The bullying really ramped up when one of his dad's passed away from Aids. This poor kid, Ryan, as far as I know, wasn't even gay himself, yet he endured much hell, because his parents were. What had he done to deserve this? Been born?
I, at this age, was dealing with my sexuality, in secret, knowing how I felt, and yet, I had the nerve to laugh at a joke someone else made, and allowed pride to get in the way of befriending him. I'd like to blame it on that I was a kid myself, but I knew, even then in my heart, what God wanted me to do. I even battled within myself to go to his house and become friends. Numerous times I went "almost" to his house, only to turn around.
You would think, as adults in prison, those childish behaviors wouldn't exist, but that same behavior, that me and the kids portrayed toward Ryan in my youth, grown men in here, act the same way or worse, toward the unpopular. Seeing people act that way, reminds me of those days in my youth as did the most recent chapter in my book, where two friends, have been bullied for being too close in certain individuals opinion.
In many circles here, I am the least popular, however there are people even lower on that popularity chain than I. Today, I make the choice to befriend such people and not allow pride to come between what God would have me do.
Many Christians these days are bullies. Walking around with signs that say, "God hates you." Or any number of variations to that sign. We will never judge, hate, or force people into the kingdom. God has called us to love one another as He has loved us. One only needs to look to Christ on the cross to truly understand how God comands us to love one another. There is but one Judge, that is God alone. Put on Love and see what kinda difference you and I can make. God is Love!! Ryan, I am truly sorry.