A Letter to an Unknown Friend

| On
October 16, 2015
beach, sand, girl

To you, my fellow student, who gave up on life earlier this week,

I don't know you, friend. I don't know your name. I don't know how old you were. I don't know your favorite color or what food you craved late at night or what music you listened to to pump yourself up before an exam. 

I don't know what you were studying. I don't know what you dreamed for your future, if you hadn't already forgotten how to. 

I don't know what you liked to do in your spare time. I don't know if you liked sports or the arts or social events or anything else. Did you like to go to football games? Did I ever study next to you in the library? 

I wish I did know you. I feel like I did. I understand what it feels like to be fighting things that no one else can see. I know what it's like to feel like every day is a battle, and that sometimes even if you win the battle, it feels like you're losing the war. I think everyone can understand that. 

We've all become so good at hiding everything that's wrong with us. All our doubts, all our fears, all our angers, all our insecurities, and we've packed them tightly, deep down within ourselves where we can pretend they don't exist. 

And because we first try to pretend those monsters don't exist within us, it's that much easier to forget that they exist within others. That's why we treat each other the way we do. I believe that if I truly tried to remember what kind of feelings many of us have to fight off every day, I wouldn't have given that girl a nasty look on the road the other day....I wouldn't have gotten impatient with the staff at Einstein for taking too long to bring me my bagel...I wouldn't get irritated with my friends over petty, petty things. 

I don't know if we ever passed each other or met each other. If I ever passed by you, I'm sorry if I didn't smile at you. If you worked on campus, I'm so sorry if I wasn't polite. If I ever met you, I'm so sorry if I didn't take time to listen to you. If I ever knew you, I'm sorry I didn't show Christ's love to you in a way that made you so confident about your value that you could never forget it. 

I wish I could rewind every interaction I've ever had just in case we met and just in case I could have made a difference in that moment. I wish I could have smiled at you. Listened to you. Loved you. Proved to you that you matter. 

But I can't turn back time and fix whatever feelings brought you to this point. But I can change the future. This is my promise to you, unknown friend. I won't be perfect. I won't always be kind. I won't always refrain from being rude. I won't always love others the way I should. 

But I will try. 

For you, and for people like you and people like me, I will try. 

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