Friday, September 7, 2007

The redemption of Bully McFister

I looked up Bully McFister today
You know, the one that used to steal your lunch money, and hit you for no reason? Who liked shooting small animals with his bb-gun and bragging about it? At length? The one who liked to make fists with one knuckle sticking out and hit us as hard as he could in the bicep to give us bruises? That guy, you remember.

Well I felt like looking up the old crew and I 'Googled' his name. I thought I might at 'best' see a police blotter report of a robbery or a shootout, or even more likely nothing at all. But no, he pops right up, I see evidence of a creative soul, a sharp mind, an analytic, go-getting man who writes beautifully. I enjoy reading what he writes, and he is relatively prolific!

I squint at his picture in awe, trying to see the wise-acre who flicked boogers at us all from the back row, who enjoyed picking fights and causing trouble, who left us achingly writing our homework with bruised arms. A faint echo is all I get. Yeah, it's the guy. Who knew? Clearly my elementary-school self judged him prematurely, and I carried that predjudice forward. Somewhere inside the obnoxious troublemaker were the seeds of this new person. A person who contributes much to our world.

So Bully made good. I am glad that he did... somehow seems redemptive. But I feel guilty for assuming he wouldn't, and wonder if we aren't failing many of our boys if they can be percieved as so futureless in school, and yet be so much once they hit the real world. I wonder what Bully's story is... Did he change all at once? Was there a series of transformative events in his life? Or did he just slowly start opening up, once he was away from the strictures, cliques and repressions of the school environment?

I wonder...

But I'm not sure I'll be reaching out to Bully to discuss all this. My arm is still sore.


'Bully McFister' is a fictional name that I made up to relate this story, but the story itself is true. For anyone who is actually named this, I pray your life is at least as redemptive as that of my 'Bully'. And for those working and suffering with today's 'Bullies' I ask you to take note. God is everywhere, indeed. Maybe your 'Bully' needs an outlet, a friend, a big brother, or a role model, maybe the investment in him is hard and painful, but he has real potential too. (And I reccommend thick sweaters to protect your arms.)

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