This is going to be a ten minute writing series where I post in ten minutes something that’s been on my heart, or a story of how I learned something for which we can all thank and praise God.
Why are kids so sarcastic around here? Self-deprecating? What?
“Beth, you’re a turkey,” Joe Smith* said to me when I was new in town: middle school, Dallas, TX, coming from the middle of PA. I didn’t know how to interpret him! Was it good or bad? I had no clue, no clue at all! We’d been over to his house for dinner, our whole family, and it was near the end of our visit, and he said it with a smile. That’s all I remember.
As we drove home though, I thought of Joe. He wasn’t my pick for best looking boy in my new class (I can still recall two or three I preferred), but he was fairly popular. Why is that? Maybe his outgoing ways trumped his odd looks? Nothing wrong with his looks, sure, but he had more self-assurance than the nicer looking boys that were his friends.
He was friendly and kind, I figured. He didn’t worry about himself, and maybe that was the secret?
Maybe everybody, no matter how odd overall, has some good qualities about their appearance, and I can look for them, like this boy modeled for me.
Maybe I don’t have to worry about my looks if I’m discouraged but can show kindness to others and encourage them? Since then, I have found that the best times were when I didn’t know at all what I looked like, but was enjoying the other(s) I was with and felt free.
Maybe the sarcasm and self-deprecation is a cover for the pretty ones not feeling sure of themselves? Needing someone to tell them how beautiful, how loved they are? To free them to be their happy selves?
That’s what I learned from being called a turkey. I still don’t know how it was meant! But I think God used it for good in my life.
All thanks and praise to God.
*Name changed because I fell out of touch and so can’t ask his permission to tell the story.