Lucas looked over at the kids by the lockers. Two girls, both pretty with long straight hair stood comparing cell phones and laughing. Next to them in their own conversation, two guys with letter jackets were directly in front of Lucas’ locker. Popular kids. Kids with everything. Just look at their shoes … or their iPhones …
Lucas looked down at his tennis shoes and then glanced up and down the hallway. He had exactly two friends to his name in the new high school and he didn’t see either one of them.
Drawing in a deep breath and adjusting his backpack, Lucas walked slowly toward his locker. At 5’5” he was shorter than most of the guys at school, but a minion in comparison to the boys in front of the locker.
“Excuse me please.” Lucas heard his voice as a squeak.
The conversation stopped abruptly and all four eyes settled on Lucas.
“I just have to get in my locker. Sorry.”
“Yeah, well we’re busy here.” The tallest boy with a square jaw fixed a glare on Lucas as he spoke.
“Guess you’ll have to wait,” said the blond girl as she swung her hair over her shoulders.
All four snickered, planting themselves more firmly into blocking the way.
Lucas looked around and saw that a handful of students stood watching. Among them he spotted his two friends, Michael and Kevin. As Lucas made eye contact, they both looked away and started backing up through the other kids. Disappointed but not surprised, Lucas shrugged his shoulders and decided to just head to class without his books.
As he turned, Lucas felt a sharp kick to his stomach and doubled over, dropping his book bag in the process. The book bag was kicked from person to person until it disappeared in the ever-growing throng of curious onlookers. Voices started to rise; confusion coupled with fear enveloped Lucas. Would no one come to help him?
The world around him melted.
The high school hallway, the popular kids, the crowd that had gathered … Lucas couldn’t see any of it.
A calloused hand reached for Lucas and helped him stand. As Lucas straightened up, he faced a man he vaguely remembered from childhood. Warm brown eyes met his and Lucas noted that the man’s muscles were taut beneath a shimmering white tunic.
A slight frown crinkled Lucas’ forehead and then he said, “You know what?”
“I know about suffering and lukewarm friends.”
“You got picked on?”
“You might say that looking from the outside.”
“I just want to fit in.” Lucas hung his head and rubbed his aching stomach.
“You want to fit in with what?”
Lucas looked up into the shining warm brown eyes. He took in the shimmering white tunic, the calloused hands, and the peace of the moment in which he stood.
“Lots of people have learned the way to fit in Lucas. How about learning how to stand out?”
So how about it?
Lukewarm … or a stand out for Jesus?