Taking a school class, there was a moment of watching the dynamics within the group; a consciousness that kids have ways of getting at each other; a desire that they would not be like me and be driven to gloat years later that they finally had the last laugh.
There is a fine Old Testament tradition of smiting one’s enemies. Christians, of course, should not be in the business of smiting anyone, but there are moments when one is tempted to long for a certain biblical justice in things.
There are certain people who made my life miserable in times past. I am not allowed to bear them ill-will, but if it turned out that they had reaped something of what they had sown, then it would be hard to deny that the world had an element of fairness.
One was tall and big and strong and I was the youngest and the smallest person in the class. Mercifully, we were only in the class together for a term before he moved to another school, where I assume he continued his bullying amongst new people. He made my life miserable. Every day, there was some new taunt, some new way of making fun of me. Everyone else laughed along with him. I don’t suppose many people felt much sympathy for me, but even if they had, they daren’t have spoken. I dreaded going to school. I couldn’t tell my mum and dad, I’ve no idea why, I just couldn’t. Each day, I would go to school with fear in the pit of my stomach. My memories of him were of a smirking and sneering fair-haired giant of a boy.
The other was no taller than me, but he had loads of money and he pinched my girlfriend. He had an answer for everything and I felt rustic and plodding in his company. I don’t remember how long he went out with my former girlfriend before he dumped her for someone else, by then the hurt had been caused.
It’s all a long, long time ago and memories of them would have all but been erased, but a few years ago I was scrolling through the British website “Friends Reunited” and there they were.
One says nothing whatsoever. Were I to pick up the phone book for his home area, I suspect I would know exactly where to find him. The other admits to being miserable. I almost felt sorry for him, but then remembered the hurt. Sew the wind and you will reap the whirlwind. A good friend once told me that as we get older, we become more of what we are. Perhaps both of them grew into themselves
Forbid it Lord that I should boast, but please forgive me a slight smile, because it’s hard trying to be good all the time.