"But the most important memories was how we accepted each other "CHECKMARKED AS IS" ..."
~ Ernie St. Paul,
Wow, that is all I can say to this... WOW!
Checkmarked "as is"... Do any of you accept people wholeheartedly, as they are, good and bad, no warranties required? It is how each of us should live our lives and how we should be towards each other. Sadly, I was always worried what people thought about me in high school. I am a people pleaser so it drives me crazy if someone does not accept me. Circumstances in my life and childhood caused me many insecurities that made me that way. However, Josh... and many of his closest friends, they never cared what anyone thought of them. They were happy to be themselves. So many in our school could have learned a lesson from them. What makes a person, is their heart. Not their clothes, their car, their checkbook, not even the circumstances in their lives. You never know what is going on behind the facade that you are presented with. Until you dig a little deeper, you cannot truly know a person. I may be loud, talk way too much and way too fast at times (hey, if you know my family, then you completely understand) but do you really know me? I guess some would say I am an aquired taste, but there are only a few that I feel completely comfortable being myself around. But since Josh died, I have really started looking around me... and seeing people inside. I am now really looking beyond my first impressions and digging a little deeper. I have already been blessed this week by doing so. Whether it is a girl, broken from her past, but wanting so much to be loved and accepted or the intelligent, good-hearted, well-mannered boy with a spiked bracelet and dressed in black. God loves us all, not one above another. He looks into our hearts. We constantly ask people to fit inside a box that society and sadly, many churches have created for the "norm." Anyone outside of this box is treated as abnormal or less than Christian. As an artist, and right brainer, I have always felt the need to color outside the lines but was always told that I could not do that. I am thankful to have a church home that loves people the way people should be loved, for themselves. As I teach my children each day, I pray that I can teach them to love, without boundaries, as God loves us. I pray that they never feel that God or anyone else will love them any less if they do not fit into that "box." I know now, that I will include lessons on accepting people CHECKMARKED "AS IS". Thanks Ernie and thanks again Josh!