Bullying. This word alone makes my stomach turn. I feel that right now more than ever we have people of all ages struggling with being bullied or being the bully. I was always aware of it because of my sweet and dear brother Tim. Tim lights up my world with his goofy laugh and lopsided smile. Tim was born with a lack of oxygen going to the left side of his brain due to his umbilical chord wrapped around his neck. He has a mixture of cerebral palsy and autism, has no speech and has a pretty big limp to his walk. However, his heart is the size of a basketball. He adores and loves people unconditionally. He is unable to hold a grudge against anyone. His heart is pure and yet the things he has gone through would have destroyed any other person. Tim has had caregivers in the past that have abused and taken advantage of him. Since he has no speech, the only time we can be aware of this is by his physical appearance or his attitude changing when we tell him who he is going to see. Tim is always excited to see people but when we say someone’s name and he shakes his head and becomes quiet we know something is wrong. My heart aches as I type these words. The thought of anybody touching or hurting my big brother raises up an unspeakable emotion in me. What sick, twisted person would bully a mentally disabled, innocent human being?
My heart has been heavy with this topic and all it entails. I hear my junior high and high school students dealing with this on a regular basis and I have been wrestling with how to deal with it. Honestly part of me just wants to walk into a school and start laying down the fear of God in these student’s lives, BUT I know that won’t do any good. The question is not “why are they doing this to me?” the question is “what is causing these bullies to do what they are doing?” What kind of life at home are these kids/adults going through that makes them treat people like dirt only to make themselves feel better? I have found that students are dealing and throwing around words like suicide and cutting like its a normal thing because someone called them worthless, useless, pathetic, the list goes on.
My thoughts always go back to my brother and everything he has gone through and yet he remains the innocent and pure soul who adores life and all the people in it. He understands more than we think and when I ask him “Hey Tim, who loves you?” he smiles his big goofy smile and points with both hands to the sky as if to say “duh Rachel, Jesus does!” If Tim can still understand and know God’s love for us and others no matter the words or actions used against us, why cant we? We must hold fast to God’s eternal and perfect love when we deal with bullying. The Bible explains in James how deadly the tongue can be. People can tame animals easily but taming the tongue is impossible. We can cause people to stumble and hurt themselves by speaking only a few words. So when we go through the times of being bullied, we have to remember to throw down even more love to those who are hurting us because chances are they are actually hurting way more than us.
“Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”Romans 12:19-21
To the bullied, remember God’s love for you and that we must never live up to anyone’s expectation except God’s and that is to love all and to do your best to live at peace with all. You are beautiful, unique and your life is precious and valuable. To the bullies, I pray God will grab hold on your life and give peace and healing to all the troubles and sadness going on in your life. May you find love and acceptance in Christ rather than the world and other people’s lives. We are all loved and we can all be forgiven because of His mercy and grace.
Love. Be loved. Know love.