by adustyframe ~ November 15th, 2011

In 4th grade, my family moved back to a state we  previously lived in.

My dad became the assistant pastor at the church we attended before. My sister and I enrolled in  the small Christian school.I was happy to be back in school with my childhood best friend.

I wasn’t happy to be in school with William.

William was one of “those” boys. He was annoying. He was always in trouble. He didn’t listen. No one liked William. His siblings were mean to him. The teachers were mean to him too.

Looking back as an adult mother, I’m so sad that the teachers treated William so badly although I know he was difficult.

I taught at a preschool once and one of “those” boys was in my class. Loving him was very exhausting, so I’m not being sad about the behavior of the teachers without some understanding of the difficulties they faced with William.

I ignored William and I was mean to him too.

In 5th grade, I got my desk assignment. William sat next to me! I went home steaming mad and demanded that my mother do something.

My mother did something alright! She told me that I would pray for William.

She told me that she expected me to be kind to him and show him the love of God.

GRR! I argued with her! “But Mom! No one will like me if I’m nice to William.”

Mom told me that I had to be nice to William and I had to pray for him. She said I didn’t have to hang out with him, but she made it clear that I had to treat him the way God expected Christians to treat each other.

William annoyed me to no end that year. He interrupted me several times a day. He talked to me in class. He borrowed my stuff without asking.

My friends started teasing, “You like William! You like William.”

Liking William was akin to liking boogers you’d think by the way they teased me. I said, “No, I don’t ‘like’ William. I’m just being nice to him.”

I survived the year. I remember how relieved I was on my way home from the last day of school. No more sitting by William!

The following year, the teacher seated me by William since we had done so well together the previous year.

Major GRR! I blew off steam to my mother after school. She reminded me of her expectations and so the second year of my “daily dose of William” began.

After awhile, I decided he wasn’t so bad. He was just an annoying little kid. Sometimes he  even made me laugh.

It’s interesting isn’t it how praying for someone changes us! I’m pretty sure that William wasn’t less annoying, but my heart toward him changed when I prayed for him.

At the end of the year, we shared blessings from our school year.

I don’t remember what I shared, but I do remember William’s blessing.

He stood up and wiped his nose on his hand. William ALWAYS wiped his nose on his hand! He pulled out a dirty piece of paper and began to read.

“I thank God for Lizzie because she’s the only friend I’ve ever had.”

I sat there stunned. I can’t imagine never having a friend.

I didn’t treat him as a real friend. I tried to be nice to him and I prayed for him–that’s it.

I think about all the friends that James has. They’re always happy to see him at church. Friends often call to see if he can come play with them.

I can’t imagine how sad William’s life was.

The small kindness I showed him impacted his life.

Guess what? William impacted my life too.

I learned that people need friends. I learned that annoying people are often hurting and looking for someone to extend God’s love to them. I learned that praying about a situation can change my heart.

I don’t know what William does today. I heard he served time in prison. Unfortunately, that didn’t surprise anyone. I wonder if he was only living up to their expectations. I wonder what William’s life could have been if only more Christians showed him the love of God.

I pray for him sometimes. I hope that God will touch his life and bring William godly  friends.

Are there any Williams in your life? Start praying!


3 Thoughts Shared to William~Repost

  1. Lisa G

    Your mother is a wonderful lady! How deeply I desire to be that type of mother.

  2. Joy

    Great repost. Needed to read that one again.

  3. Janet

    I’m crying now. People are hurting and need the love of Jesus through US!

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