This I Believe

Lindsay - NAPLES, Florida
Entered on March 30, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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The wet gravel would crunch under my shoes as I rushed from class. It’s sound always reminiscent of the day before. Amongst a thousand other eyes, I could tell that we all felt peacefully alone. But not only that, we understood each other. I made a pinched smile to each and every passer-by whose common purpose united us all. Eventually I made my way under the tall, magnificent arches in pink sunlight. The trees formed a black silhouette opposite the setting sun. Proof that God was still near.

Late in the day, tired and slumber-bound I rushed to my car. I dug carelessly passed loads of loose-leaf paper filled with lecture notes and tiny doodles of dollar signs and my own name repeated a thousand times. It had been a good day’s work for this student. Thoughts of Contemporary Moral Issues still were racing through my head. Would I pull the plug? I know I could survive without eating meat. I will buy a recycle bin, then. What is fundamentally right? Across the courtyard shouted words of hatred and disdain, “You’re all going to hell! Party animals!” Who, me? A preacher stood near. Words that dug like knives into our ears and hearts, like tires screeching on a small, residential street crowded with children. Each soul wanting, craving, longing to fall hopelessly in love with the next were frozen in time. A judgment, a fallacy, a mention were all there to stop them that day, but did not succeed. He continued his rant as we eyeballed each other, questioning why we felt so compelled to drag him, tooth and nail, outside the boundaries of our beloved campus. We were more reasonable than that, weren’t we? “God says! God speaks!” But without a mouth to speak with, God let sunshine through the trees and onto the damp, green picnic table alongside this man. A shimmering rainbow reflected on the side of his long, wrinkled face filled with anger and fear. Such a small, brief, seemingly insignificant experience whispered loudly in my ear. While others shrieked back, I smiled, having read God’s message. From that point on his words sang like music until I reached my car; a message that sang so much clearer than those crowding my loose-leaf paper that day. A small voice continued to whisper inside my head, telling me that this wouldn’t be the last time. I accepted the challenge.

Tolerance is a tree growing tall, intolerance are the rain drops that fall down – feeding it, supplying it, only making it stronger. This, I Believe.