When I was 11 years old, we moved to a new town. I was the new kid in Mrs. Roberts sixth-grade class. From the very first day of school, I was a target. One day, I walked onto the bus and sensed something was up. All at once, all the kids moved to the edge of their seats. But the bus-driver could not take off until I was seated. So seat by seat, row by row, I passed the laughing

imageboys and girls. Nobody would move in nor move over. Then someone stood up and yelled, “back of the bus, fungus face!” That year was full of tough moments like that and no doubt, it was a long year. I don’t know why, specifically, God allowed those things to happen–but as an adult, I have a general idea. Those years were birthing in me a piece of my character I would carry forever: a relentless desire to protect people I love and help people who are helpless. As Good Friday and Easter Sunday approaches…I will celebrate you, Jesus…for protecting your kids and helping the helpless. And I will say thank you, for creating in me a desire to do the same.

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