Imagine the horror of losing your personal journal, full of your most intimate and vulnerable thoughts.
Now imagine being a sixteen-year old girl, and doing that same thing.
Imagine also losing it while at school, leaving it in a classroom frequented almost solely by junior high boys.
And finally, imagine doing all the above in a relatively small school where everyone knows everyone else.
Can you think of anything more horrifying for a teenage girl? It is the plot of pretty much every teenage angst movie ever made (anyone seen Mean Girls or Touched by Grace?) You can imagine how it might play out: girl shows up at school, forgets her journal in a classroom, it is found by boys who quickly pass it around school before posting excerpts, with names and all, on every social media website imaginable. Girl is mortified and, in a pool of tears, tells Mom and Dad there is no way she can ever show her face at school again.
This same scenario actually happened at our school this year: a high school girl accidentally left what equated to a personal journal in a classroom, where it was found by a junior high boy.
Only, the unexpected followed: the junior high boy who found the journal did not use it as an opportunity to selfishly look cool in the eyes of his friends, or to become the center of attention with his bit of insider information; horror did not ensue; no one was publicly shamed; and no mortified girls had cause to beg mom and dad to transfer schools. Instead, the junior high boy did an exceptionally beautiful thing: he discreetly asked his teacher out into the hallway, and quietly gave the journal to him to handle.
None of the boy’s classmates were aware of what had happened. No one was shamed, and no one’s innermost thoughts were made a public spectacle. The situation, ripe with scandal, was diffused and done.
1 Peter 4:8 reads, “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’” We all sin and fall short of God’s glory. How tragic it is when others expose our weaknesses to the world for their own gain; but how beautiful it is when brothers and sisters in Christ cover for one another in love! This is a key difference of a Christian community; as Jesus said, the world will know us by our love for one another. And it is a difference for which the world around us is desperate.
The world is watching. May they know us by our love for one another.