The Bully

He stands all of five feet tall and maybe one half inch…
His weight fluctuates between one hundred and one hundred and five…
He’s in 7th grade… his first year in Junior High.
He’s new…
He’s low man on the totem pole of the three year Junior High experience.
He’s smart…
He’s athletic…
He’s prepubescent… (no facial hair, no armpit hair… no hair grows where it will grow a few years from now.)

It’s approaching lunch time after fourth period English.
His eyes dart…
His blood pressure spikes…
His low level anxiety has been on the rise since he sat down at his wooden desk in fourth period English…
He makes his way to his locker..
He carefully and quickly dials the combination… 0…10…36
He forcefully jerks up the stubborn steel latch…
He dumps his books in his personalized, shag carpet lined locker…
He grabs his bagged lunch by the folded top that was so carefully and lovingly packed by his mom.
He slams the stubborn, steel, bent, locker door, slamming it against the bent metal latch making that striking metal on metal sound…
He knows what is inside the brown bag…
Sandwich…
Chips…
Fruit…
Dessert…
And some other food surprise…
He’s got the best lunch in town…
He knows it…

He makes his way to the lunch area… the quad
And then the game begins…
He wants to be inconspicuous…
He’s looking for an “out of the way” space to eat even though every available place is in the wide open…
His eyes dart back and forth, taking in every student, every garment of clothing, every face, I mean “every” face…
His outside demeanor is cool, collected and controlled…
His insides are a mess…

He’s got the best lunch in town…
He knows it…

And so does the bully who is busily on the prowl trying to track him down for the fifth day in a row…

SeeingGodAtWorkdEveryday…

I don’t know the bully’s name…
But I do know the name of the boy that was bullied…
You do too…
David Dendy

I saw a video on Facebook today about two boys on Britain’s Got Talent that were rapping about bullying.
I had an instant flashback to my first year at Yorba Junior High School in Orange, California.
Too scared to say anything… Too scared to do anything other than cower and watch this bully threaten and stick his hand in my brown bag and take what he wanted… This went on for five days…
It didn’t last long but it left a permanent scar…

Nothing gets under my skin faster and deeper than bullying.
My insides light up like the Fourth of July…
I have no doubt this experience is the reason my alter egos throughout life have been Steven Seagal, Jack Reacher, Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Jason Statham, Stallone and The Rock.
Pardon the “French”… But these guys stand up for the “little” guys, kick ass, take no prisoners and don’t even ask questions later.
How much as a seventh grader I wanted to be 6 feet, 6 inches tall and weigh about 250!! (Sometimes I still daydream about such things!)

I hated that bully for years.
For the fear he instilled in me.
For the way he emasculated my self-esteem, my sense of boyhood and masculinity…
For the way I lived in fear during the lunch hour…

Today…
I prayed for him for the first time…
With time comes maturity and perspective…
For all I know he came from a home where he himself was bullied every night…
For all I know his mom never packed him a full lunch…
For all I know he came to lunch after fourth period starving, literally…
For all I know this was all he knew how to be in order to survive in his world…
I don’t hate him anymore…
My heart is sad, distressed and broken for him… I pray that he has somehow been restored to a full and rich life, free from bullying…

Overall, I give great thanks to God for using that bully to bring about good and “life” in my world.
Without the bully, maybe I wouldn’t have the fierceness that I have today for those who get bullied.
Without the bully, maybe I wouldn’t have the acute awareness that I have today to recognize people who are hurting emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Without the bully, maybe I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

As painful as it was, I give thanks today to God for…
The Bully

But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” (Genesis 50. 19-21)

SeeingGodAtWorkEveryday…
Laugh often and Fear not!
David!

David@seeinggodatworkeveryday.com

2 thoughts on “The Bully

  1. I have enjoyed reading your writing! Thank you for your inspiring thoughts. Josh is a very sweet young boy. I see clearly now where the joy in his eyes comes from.
    Becky Rahlfs

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