I’d like to tell you about a girl I’ll call Cathleen. I knew her in primary school when I was around 10 or 11 years old. I saw her as a friend and we hung out together in her group.
She was the alpha. She was tall. Her blonde hair cascaded down her back in a golden shimmer. All the boys liked her so she learned early in her young life how to wield her power. I was short and all my friends told me I was ugly. I didn’t have Cathleen’s confidence. I think she only tolerated me because her best friend, Rachael, was also my best friend.
Then one day I did something wrong. I have no idea what it was. Perhaps I finally stood up to Cathleen’s continuous put-downs. Whatever it was, she didn’t like it. By the end of the week the entire school was against me.
My best friend didn’t want to get involved. She didn’t want to get caught up in a tug-o-war. I didn’t blame her - much. I knew if she tried to defend me she’d also get torn to shreds. She did offer what she could and I took that small offering because I had nothing.
Years later I realised that it was Rachael who influenced me the most. Her friendship had made the difference. It was the life-line that made it possible to bear all the hate.
Rachael’s friendship is the kind we offer God. It’s weak, it doesn’t always stand its ground against hardship and we often try to keep one foot in our old ways and the other in our new. But God doesn’t judge what we can give. He accepts it with His arms out wide.
He will always be there for us. He will always be the friend we need, even when we struggle to be a friend in return.
Did you ever suffer from bullying at school? What got you through? How is God the perfect friend to you?