Hello and welcome back!
I have some thoughts to give you today that sprung from my off-the-wall thinking processes this week. I have a tendency to dwell on things and sometimes entirely lucid concepts arise from these weekly mental meanderings.
Last post, I talked about how individual and subjective thoughts can shape our understanding of our abilities.
The objective word of God not only informs us who we actually are in Him but grants us the ability to understand the importance of the Holy Spirit and our obedience to Jesus’ commands to the church.
And yes, that was presented by comparing two different sized dogs and their perception of their abilities based on what they both considered the reality.
This post, I want to talk about Jesus. That’s right…Jesus.
Not Jesus Christ, my personal Lord and Savior. Jesus Garcia who was the custodian of my first junior high experience.
Jesus Garcia was said to be an excellent custodian, dependable, loyal, honest as the day is long, and one who always did more than expected of him by the school system.
But that isn’t the topic of Jesus’ life I wish to tell you about. That’s not the topic at all.
The Girl Froze – Jesus didn’t.
Jesus Garcia, alias “Ol’ Gar” to us 7th graders, was a man of great patience and kindness. There wasn’t one day that passed that school year that “”Ol’ Gar” didn’t speak to me first and never forgot to ask how my family and I were doing. He was hard to understand sometimes but he had a good heart.
The sad part is, most of the kids at the school made fun of Jesus. They would wait until he had passed by and make fun of the limp he had. Either that or they would make fun of his unique voice character when he wasn’t around.
Jesus also had a hearing problem that was unusual in a man in his early 40’s and some of the kids began to ask him questions just to get him to say, “What you said dere?”
It became a standing comment to make when you didn’t hear or understand what someone said to you at school, “What you said dere? Dent ketch it!”
Everyone knew that Jesus knew what was going on but that didn’t slow them down any. Most kids said, Ol’ Gar don’t deserve any respect.” They said that because they felt he was a retard and just good for cleaning the school and being the target of their jokes. They said he was called “Ol Gar” because he smelled like one.
Around the last few weeks before school let out for summer, there was this incident that changed a lot of people’s attitude towards “Ol’ Gar.”
It was a Friday after lunch when most of the kids were on the school campus. Groups of kids were standing around, some in circles talking while others just milled around from group to group.
A few minutes before the bell rang announcing the start of the second half of the day, Jesus walked out of the door between the gym and the cafeteria with a large bag of garbage and headed out to the street where the dumpsters sat.
An eighth-grade girl was crossing the street in the middle of the block when a motorcycle careened around the corner bearing down on her. Ol’ Gar saw that bike heading toward her about the same time she did.
The girl froze. Jesus didn’t.
Several groups of us kids saw what was taking place. Jesus pushed that girl just as the bike slammed into his side. Kids screamed. Jesus went down as that bike carried him along with it – right into a tree between the street and sidewalk.
A few of us ran over to where he lay. The biker was up and standing over him as we came up alongside of them. Ol’ Gar looked up, saw me, and asked about the girl he had just protected. I told him she was unhurt. He nodded.
The ambulance finally arrived after what seemed forever but was actually only about ten minutes. I heard one of the medics say, “He isn’t going to make it, losing too much blood.
Turns out that the force of the accident had ruptured an artery in his stomach and that was where all the blood had come from.
Mr. Jesus Garcia, alias “Ol’ Gar” had given his life to save one of us. No one said so but it was obvious that attitudes had changed towards Jesus.
School turned out for the funeral. That was when all the kids who attended had the opportunity to meet Jesus’ family consisting of his mother, his wife, and his two, young daughters.
Jesus became real to that group of kids that day. There was a plaque put up in the hallway, a special assembly was held, the girl whose life he had saved read a poem she had written to him. Most of the kids were silent -reflective.
I don’t know who suggested it but I think it was the girl he had saved. We all took up a collection school-wide. Turned out to be almost $500. I don’t remember the exact figure but that doesn’t matter.
What I do remember is the life lesson that was learned by everyone that day. I remember the remorse I saw on many faces because of how they had treated Jesus Garcia when he was alive and among us.
I also remember the look of shock on those same faces when they discovered at the funeral why Jesus limped. The shock of why his voice sounded like it did. He had been wounded severely during the Korean conflict but had carried 5 of his fellow soldiers to safety under enemy fire. He had been hit twice by enemy fire as he rescued them.
Lives were changed that day. Lives were changed for the better. One was saved from certain injury or death. Others were changed from lives of judgmental egoism. All because of the Christian salt and light that had shown from the life of one man.
He was a simple man.
He was a follower of Jesus.
His life meant something.
May we all have the opportunity for our lives to count. More than that, may we all value the lives of others and never judge them on appearances.
The Bible tells us at Matthew 7:1-2: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”
Let’s all remember that another Jesus, the living Son of God, told us to love one another as He loves the church. Jesus Garcia did.
Until next time,
QUESTION: Have you ever looked down on another only to regret it later?