In my freshman year of college a young lady named Christine visited my dorm. I was sitting in my friend’s chair, on the computer, and being a little standoffish like usual. She walked in and immediately I felt a change in the atmosphere. Everything became a little brighter, the air felt warmer, and happy voices filled the room. I curiously looked at her and saw this incredibly beautiful person. I couldn’t quite figure out what was so special. Her hair was flawless, but black like mine. Her figure was naturally tall and slim, but comparable to my shorter stature and gym-made body. Her eyes sparkled like mine do whenever I see Justin Timberlake on TV. All in all, quite an attractive, but otherwise ordinary girl. Except, there was still something different.
Christine came to visit our mutual friend Matt, and to talk about the possibility of starting a college small group in our dorm. She wanted to see if there was any interest among us freshman for weekly meetings. “Let’s start with just the few of us! (There were about two or three others in the room) We can eat dinner, read some Bible, and talk about the message and how it relates in your every day college life. Oh and I can bring bubble tea on my way back from work…” She kept talking but she didn’t have to. She had us at bubble tea.
That year, we had bubble tea every Friday, hung out and met more people as the group expanded (everyone loves bubble tea), had girls’ nights, took small group trips, and basically had a lot, a lot of fun. Although hesitant at first about Christianity and even Christine, I grew to love small group. We read passages that Christine picked out, and I learned the basics about the Love that she seemed to radiate with. I looked up to Christine. She was understanding when I couldn’t make small group on some Fridays. She was so forgiving. There were times when I was very antisocial and pushed her away. I just didn’t believe that she was for real. I rejected Christianity and challenged her. I was frustrating to deal with when I cried and when I was awkward and weird. As a well-adjusted, graceful, and naturally smart girl, Christine must have been pulling her hair out over my issues, but she didn’t give up. Because more important than possessing intelligence, perfectly timed humor, and a fun personality, Christine is blessed with patience and genuine kindness.
Christine once said to me, “Hurt people hurt people.” I can never forget that saying because it rings true every time I have a negative experience with someone. Most people that walk this earth are hurt in one way or another. We can all recount sad and/or horrific stories of things that have been done to us, sometimes by people we love. But, the biggest problem is not that we are hurt once, although that is terrible by itself. The scarier thing is that we take that hurt and redirect it in other directions. As hurt people, we hurt others and we don’t even realize it sometimes.
Christine taught me that the hurting are worthy of being loved. It is a long, hard journey to help them, but it is so worth it because not only do their lives change, but it will prevent them from lashing out at others, and finally, these healed people will continue the cycle by healing others who are still down. It is an arduous process and one that never stops because we are human and can’t help but hurt and be hurt all the time. Despite the difficulty, healing is so worth it.
Christine always smiles like she can’t help it. Being in her presence is calming. Why? Because in her completeness made possible by true Love, she cannot help but shine like the healed soul she is. ❤