Tuesday, February 22, 2011
A young man slipped ever so quietly into the professor’s classroom and sat down in the back row. Jeff’s blonde hair was unclean from days of not being washed. His once bright red t-shirt was now faded to almost pink and his jeans were stained with days of grunge. The odor from his body was offensive to all those near him. The professor had seen cases such as this before, a classic case of very low self-esteem.
He tried to get a response from Jeff but only a few muffled words would slip out when he spoke. No eye contact was ever made and he walked with his head down as he left the classroom every day. The Professor prayed for some miracle to take place in this young man’s life.
A two week break came round and Jeff went home for a visit. All was the same at home with the family. His mother was still the peacemaker trying to please everyone in the household. Father the strict disciplinarian making sure all towed the line. Then there was David his brother who had been left behind at home while he went off to college. A timid boy of twelve, who kept his grades up, followed Dad’s rules and let mom think he was as happy as a clam. Yes, everything was the same especially Jeff….
One night at dinner as they ate together a familiar conversation began around the table. It centered on Jeff’s low GPA at college, his need to improve his hygiene, his lack of conversation, etc. He had no answers, except that he would try harder, all the while knowing he had no motivation to do so.
Finally, the day came to leave and go back to the struggles of college life. The father walked Jeff to the bus stop to say goodbye. When they arrived, a group of men that worked with his father were also waiting for a bus. They began to taunt and laugh at Jeff’s appearance. “What a pig, oink, oink.” “I wouldn’t claim that as my son.” “He stinks man, aren’t you embarrassed?”
For the first time in Jeff’s life, his father embraced him and kissed him on the forehead. He said to his son, “Son your mother and I love you more than you will ever know. I am thankful that God gave you to me. And I am so proud that you’re my son.”
After that day, a transformation took place in Jeff’s life. His GPA skyrocketed, and he went on to become a computer analyst. You see, Jeff had a brilliant mind he just needed someone to believe in him.
That day at the bus stop, a life was forever changed by a father’s outward love for his son. That love gave Jeff the courage to step out and become who he was meant to be.
Placed inside each one of us is the power to step into someone’s life and give him or her what Paul Tillich called the “courage to be”. Will you use that power and step into that life?
Today I am thankful for my Father in heaven who gave me the “courage to be” who I am today and my earthly father for his unconditional love. I love you Daddy.
© Copyright Julie E. Moore
Posted by Julie Moore at 10:34 AM