Saturday, October 16, 2010

Life Lessons

 Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers for my son Ryan. His hernia surgery went well, and although he's sore, he's home now and on the road to recovery :-) I appreciate all of your kind words.

The other day I told my twins a story from my youth. It's the story of a young man named George and a life lesson he taught me. They've asked me several questions since then, and I realized that you might like to hear about him too.

I first met George when I was about 14 years old. He was only a few years older than I was and he was in my youth group at church. He was also both mentally and physically handicapped. He couldn't read or write, nor could he speak very clearly. When I knew him, he was still able to walk everywhere, but his mother told me that he would one day be wheelchair bound.

Our youth group consisted of about 50 kids, and everyone of them loved George, but I believe this is because he loved each of us first. George loved everyone.

One Sunday we arrived at church to find George black and blue, swollen and cut, with his arm in a sling. He truly looked awful. We were all shocked to find out that 3 unknown bullies had jumped him and beat him up a few days earlier, just because that's what bullies sometimes do to people like George. Of course, we were all furious.

Several of the boys in our youth group, all muscular football players on a local team, said, "Show us who they are George, we'll get them."

We might not have said it, but I think we all felt the same way. Someone had hurt "our" George.  We wanted to get even.

George took it all in.

We always started our youth service with singing and then we had prayer requests, and every week George would raise his hand with the same request. He always asked for prayer for his mother and his sister.

This week was the same. As always, George raised his hand. And, as always, our leader called on him and let him ask. Only this time, George had a different request.

"I'd like to ask for prayer for the boys who beat me up. You see, I don't think they know Jesus...and I want them to know His love," he stuttered.

You could've heard a pin drop. I still get choked up when I think about it. Tears welled up in many eyes. There wasn't anything showy or prideful about George's request. It was genuine, straight from his heart. He had no idea that there was a collective sigh of guilt in the rest of us as we all realized the purity of his forgiveness in comparison to the lack of our own.

Our first and only thought had been revenge. We are all too often a "get even" people. George couldn't understand this, but he knew the best way to stop the bullying was to get to the heart of the bully.

To change their heart. Why hadn't we thought of that? Because he had forgiven them, and we hadn't. I think he forgave them even as they were beating him up. He understood forgiveness better than any of us ever did. He taught us all an important lesson that day.

I grew up, moved away and lost touch with George, but after telling my twins the story, I made a few phone calls and found out that his mom passed away and he is living with his sister in another state. I don't know if he'd even remember me, but I wish I had a photo of him to show to you, with his shock of black curly hair (probably gray now) and his crooked smile. He was always smiling. Joy radiated from him. Now that I'm thinking about it, maybe if you just imagine a special angel, you'll be able to imagine "our" George :-)

God sometimes brings special people into our lives to teach us His truths. I've never forgotten this and other life lessons I learned....by George :-)

Have a glorious Sunday!
Blessings,
Marcia

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32

37 comments:

Natacha said...

Dear Marcia, it is Sunday morning here and I am reading my favorite blogs and drinking my first cup of tea. Thank you for giving me something to think about today! It is a beautiful story.

It's me said...

What a gripping story and yes ................. ...... forgive seems easy but doing it out!........have a nice sunday.......blessings and love Ria....

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

What a incredibly touching story Marcia!
And so inspiring too!
I am glad to hear your son is doing well and on the road to recovery!
Hugs,
Cindy

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

What a wonderful testimony and I am sure your children will never forget either.
This goes with my past week in which I am in a situation that only a hearts change will do, not stepping back and away, but the touch of Jesus.
I hope the boys that beat him up meet Jesus, since I know George is okay and knows Him well.

So glad your son is doing well! Blessings and full recovery!

Diana said...

Glad to hear your son is doing well. What a touching story!

Melanie said...

Hi, Marcia~
I'm so glad Ryan's surgery went well. I hope he'll be feeling all better soon! :)
That is such a beautiful story about George.
We need more people like him in this world.
I'm sure a lot of people from your youth group still remember him and the lessons he taught.
Thank you for sharing your story.
I hope you have a blessed Sunday. :)

katie said...

Marcia, how beautiful of you to share this story with us.
God is so good to us to teach us by example.
Good to hear Ryan is recovering well.
Enjoy your Sunday.

Mrs.Rabe said...

This is a lesson we need to learn over and over again...

Glad Ryan's surgery went well! My dad has had hernia surgery several times in his life. The last time they put kevlar in...now he claims to be bullet proof!

T's Daily Treasures said...

Hi Marcia, what a beautiful story. And yes, I got teary-eyed too just reading it.

My husband has a brother and sister who have always caused problems. It's gotten even worse since their parents died. They are always attacking my husband and when I ask him why he lets them get away with things, he says that he knows they are not happy in their own lives. And God will deal with them so he doesn't need to.

My husband had hernia surgery years ago and the very next day, he was hobbling downstairs and had called a taxi to go to work. I called his doctor friend to talk some sense into him. He was supposed to take at least 6 weeks to heal. I think he stayed home a week and a half at the most. Can't keep a good man down. :)

Hope you are having a beautiful day. Thanks for sharing your life lesson. So glad that you were at least able to find out where George is now. Blessings, Tammy

NanaDiana said...

Marcia-What a beautiful story...and in light of all the bullying that is going on today it tells a different side of the tale. I think most people need a "George" in their life. Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us...Hugs- Diana

Love of the Sea said...

This is a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing it. It comes at an appropriate time for me.

Margitta said...

Thanks for sharing this moving story! Have a blessed sunday evening!

Secret Garden Cottage said...

Hi Marcia,
I'm so glad to hear that everything went well with your son's surgery and that he's making a good recovery. :)
What a touching story, Marcia! I have a hard time with people who are cruel just to be cruel... where is their compassion? George was a wise and compassionate boy. Thanks for sharing this with us. :)
Have a wonderful day!
Hugs ~ Jo

Burlap Luxe said...

Dear Marcia,
Ooooh! my, your George story is truly inspiring "to be better then who you are, not less then who you are"

I am so saddened with this heartwarming story I too want to find George! You see its the small things in life that build love in our hearts for the things learned :)

Thank you for passing on the love you had for George and the strong support given at your youth group.
What a testimony to having faith in the Lord and allthings through him.
Blessings
to you and your family!
xoxo
Dore

PS. I read the story to my Hannah and she was like Awwwwwww! :(
I think all of us have to be reminded sometime or another we have had a George in our live's, and to do as George did!! "FORGIVENESS and PRAYER"

Marla @ Always Nesting said...

This is beautiful, just beautiful!

Susan B said...

Hi Marcia,
Thank you for sharing this touching story of love and forgiveness. I'm sure George touches the heart's of all who know him.

I'm glad Ryan's surgery went well. I pray he has a speedy recovery. :)

Have a wonderful week!

Amy Kinser said...

Thanks for sharing such an incredible story. This is truly a lesson we should all learn from. What a remarkable young man George was and I am sure still is.

Tammy ~ Country Girl at Home ~ said...

That is beautiful, Marcia, and it really does step on my toes.....as forgiveness just doesn't come that easy for me! :) I bet he's still blessing people today!

Have a great week!
Tammy

Mimi Sue said...

What a wonderful memory of sweet George! Forgiveness is a wonderful thing. Sometimes hard to do but necessary for our salvation. A great lesson learned. Thanks for sharing. Mimi

PBKISSES said...

What a wonderful story, so much like Jesus' response. Eph 4:32 is one of my favorite verse as well. Thank you for visiting my blog and your sweet comment.
Blessings!

koralee said...

Sending you love for your son!

Your giveaway will be in the mail tomorrow my friend...sorry it has taken me soooo long.

Hugs. xoxoxo

Janet said...

That is a great story and a great lesson, too!

Christine said...

What a moving story! George was remarkable - if only we were more willing to have his attitude.
Glad to know Ryan is on the mend!
Blessings
Christine

Valerie@chateaualamode.typepad.com said...

What a beautiful story to share. I love it. So glad to hear your son is on his way to recovery.

Gail @ Faithfulness Farm said...

What a lovely post!

Blessings!
Gail

Gloria said...

What a beautiful story! I do believe you are so right about how God places certain people in our lives to teach us His ways!
We had a boy in our church named, Joey, who was like your George. Your story brought a tear to my eye. Joey recently came up missing, and ended up being a casualty of brutality...:( Which was very tragic and sad. BUT,,,we do know Joey is not sad right now because he went on to meet his Maker who loves him dearly!! He also had a grandmother (who raised him) who was already waiting for him in Heaven too!
I am glad to hear your son's surgery went well. Thank you for your prayers for our daughter Beth (& Sophie)!
Have a happy day!
xoxo Gloria @}~`}~~~

Änglarnas hus said...

Hallo!

I think that this story learn us a lot! to forgive is a gift to ousself.. its harder to hate someone..
I´m glad that you shared this story with us!

Have a nice evening!
//Sanne from sweden

Beverly said...

I am so thankful Ryan is recovering and doing well.
What a wonderful story, Marcia.
I was always taught to forgive or we cant be forgiven. Sometimes it's hard, but with prayer always possible.Your story is truly a life lesson. Thanks for sharing.

Julie Harward said...

Thanks for sharing that sweet story..loved it. I hope your son is doing very well by now...love to you and yours :D

Maya said...

It's amazing to truly feel like that inside..., and not having to "work" on forgiveness! What a lesson!!

Maya @ Completely Coastal

Mandy in Mayberry said...

What a sweet story. To see things through the eyes of someone like George is a blessing. God places special people around us for a reason, doesn't he?

Glad your son is doing well!

Karen said...

I am so happy to hear that Ryan's surgery went well!

Thank you for sharing the story about George--it brought tears to my eyes.

Karen

kerrie said...

Thank you for sharing the story with us. I think you should try to contact him because even if he doesn't remember you he might remember that story...he probably remembers getting beat up and you could tell him how it impacted your life. He probably doesn't hear from many of his friends from the past...I truly think you would bless him by contacting him.

outdoor.mom said...

wow - powerful!! (i'd still want to beat up those bullies - te he) but very powerful!! sigh.. good story!!

Sue said...

What a beautiful story that truly is a life lesson! It totally touched my heart,Marcia. Sending good thoughts for your son's full recovery. Take care, my friend.
~ Sue

Mama Sewing said...

I just copied your story to show my twins - what a great lesson as we all at times need to be reminded of the truly important things in life.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

"From the mouths of babes" was my thought when I read this sweet and inspiring story. Thank you for sharing it!