A lot of people in my life spoke fondly of him.My parents? Not so much. They'd rather disregard him and told me I couldn't see him anymore; he was no good for me.
In middle school I decided I'd find out for myself how awesome he actually was.
Every weekend there was a bunch of us that would hang out in the same crowd. We were all so different, yet we all loved getting together. We all didn't go to the same school, but on the weekends we'd pick up from where we left off. It was a time full of laughs (I truly believe this is where I learned to laugh), good food (hole in the walls), & video games (speed scrabble). I counted down the days until I could see them again.
Specifically it was the influence he had on others that was contagious - unconditional as humans can get, I was able to reap the benefits from their hearts.
My family was below middle class. I won't say we were poor because we always had a roof over our heads but let's just say hot cheetos & cream cheese was a luxury I could not afford every day at school.
When I met up with them on the weekends, I never went hungry. They shared and they spotted. They spotted so much I was covered.
In middle school there was a time I was bullied and ostracized. When I was 13 I dreaded going to school because I hated the glares from my classmates. The look in their eyes burned me.
When I met up with them on the weekends, I never felt unwanted. They called me to make sure I was coming, and if I didn't show up they'd call me to ask why. I belonged.
To this day I know I would die for any of them.
They lived, existed, touched my life and so I didn't perish, although many times I felt like I was on the verge to - they revitalized my life.
A little over 10 years ago I was able to meet all of them because of him. They were all there because he loved them first. Not only did they believe this, they knew this. It was okay that I didn't understand at that moment who he was to them or even who he was to me. Even when I didn't understand or agree, they still loved me & welcomed me. He loved them first and as a result they were able to love me.
All because of him.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16