A memory struck me from out of the blue today. It was a random day during my sophomore year of high school. Nearly every other sophomore in the school had gone to the Zoo that day for a Biology field trip. Having come from being homeschooled, I had already taken Biology so I wasn’t in the class. Consequently, I was the only one at my lunch table that day, in a room primarily occupied by upperclassmen that I had never met.
Though it wasn’t ideal, I had accepted the fact that I would be eating alone. I’d already been through several of my other classes, which were also pretty empty, but I knew that by the time Band came around at the end of the day, everyone would be back.
To my surprise though, not long after I sat down at my usual table and opened my lunch (which was always brought from home, because my mom, even after 10 years of dedicating all her time to teaching us, still took care of me :D), a girl approached me. She had a lip piercing and dark clothes, and I was a little surprised she was coming to talk to me. She didn’t seem like the kind of girl I would normally associate with–especially at my school, where my group of friends at that time was very distinctly the dorky Band/Choir/Theater kids.
I was even more surprised by what happened next. She invited me to come have lunch with her and her friends. I awkwardly accepted and followed her to her table. I found out she was a junior, and she introduced me to the others (though I don’t remember who they were now). She asked me about myself and my life, and we talked for the rest of the period.
We never became really good friends, but we’re still connected through Facebook and every now and again I’ll see her in my News Feed or she’ll “like” something I’ve posted. I don’t usually think anything of it though. I have a lot of acquaintances with which I have that kind of relationship. Today, for some reason, I was thinking about her and that memory came to mind. I’ve never given it much thought before, but now that I do, I am amazed by her actions: she could have easily just gone about her every day routine, and let me eat alone as I had intended to do. But instead, she chose to go out of her way to include and get to know me.
So many of my friends are constant examples to me of what it is to be a follower of Christ. They are genuine, kind, and examples of righteousness and optimism. Though my first impression of this girl from the lunchroom was that we probably wouldn’t be friends, I was too quick to judge, and I judged both harshly and poorly. She was so kind and friendly and courageous–I am completely convinced that she reacted to the situation she saw exactly the same way our Savior would have.
I’m so grateful for her example, for teaching me that being Christlike is something that is within us. The statement “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover” is more true than we realize. We cannot be true followers of Christ merely by “looking the part.” Our actions must be consistent with His actions, too. And that starts with loving and looking after others, sincerely and without hesitation.