Tonight I went down to the basement to watch my favorite television show, The Middle. It was a repeat, so I decided to watch a movie. My Mom had recorded a few months ago, so I chose to watch How To Save a Life. I thought that it was excellent! It is about a teen boy, Jake–senior in high school all set to go to college on a basketball scholarship, typical popular kid with party friends and pretty girlfriend. Over the course of events (I do not want to spoil the movie if you have not seen it), Jake realizes that the life he is living is fake. A youth pastor enters his life and welcomes Jake into a friendship with no judgment for his past. Jake soon starts to change. He stops the parties and starts hanging out with the considered losers at lunch. He befriends another kid from school and in the end you see how it made a difference in their lives. Just a really well done movie with a message not just for teens, but for any age.
The whole theme of the movie was about judging people and how it affects lives in a negative way, contrast with making a decision to not judge and how it can bless people. Why do we judge people? The whole story really hit me, because I struggled with popularity in high school. I never did parties, but I had cool friends and preferred to hang out with them at lunch rather than sit with other groups of people (just an example). I can’t go back and change it now, but I guess what my mind keeps coming back to is that we judge. And I should not. Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” -Matthew 7:1, NKJV. Pretty much ends all debate.
I know we already passed Valentine’s Day, but I wanted to share a story with you about what God taught me in this area during the spring semester of ’09 when I was undergoing 6 sessions of chemo. I am not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. I just figure we can tell our loved ones, “I love you”, everyday. That year in particular, instead of feeling sad that I did not get a date or flowers, I asked God to show me how to love others. It is so easy to say, “I love you” as much as it is easy to say that I love coffee. I wanted to put action to my words. I had chemo right around Valentine’s or a bit after, I cannot remember now. Denver Children’s is always really busy, especially in the Oncology Department. Fridays were no exception and that day in particular, I had to share a room with another patient. They had the curtains closed so I could not see the other patient until the nurses came in. It was a girl a few years younger than me and her Dad was with her as well. My two friends from high school were with me that day, so we were chatting quite a bit and unknowingly, too loud for the other girl. Her Dad kept giving us glances and I tried to keep the conversation low.
After what seemed forever, I finished and was getting ready to leave. The girl’s Dad had gone to get her a Sprite and my friends started to leave towards the hallway. I was still wearing hats at the time, but had a few extras that day to donate to the main waiting area. I looked in my bag and found a cute one and went around the curtain to her bed. She was sleeping, so I just laid it on the table. I guess my sudden movement woke her up, because we just stared at each other for a second and I finally said that I had some extra hats and I wanted her to choose one. I gave her the bag of hats and while she was looking at them, I noticed how beautiful she was. Here she lay, with more than one IV, no hair or eyebrows, as pale as I have ever seen a patient and yet when she smiled, she was beautiful. I was so touched. Here I had been frustrated with the fact that I could not talk regular with my friends, like it was the biggest deal in the world. Yet I realized that I did not know this girl, her background or her physical status but none of that seemed to matter during our short 5 minutes together. I never saw her again. I just know that God taught me to love that day, love like he loves–seeing past the physical and the beauty that comes from within.
I would be lying to say that I still love like that at all times. There have been many times since then where loving was hard, and instead, I judged and I failed. I am so thankful that God’s love never fails. I am so unworthy, yet he never judges me for my mistakes and always forgives, which is what I should do towards others in every circumstance. “Greater love has no one that this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” I John 15:13, NIV. God’s love is unfathomable. ❤