Nineteen Minutes

"No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends."

I am currently reading a novel called Nineteen Minutes written by Jodi   Picoult.

It is about a horrific high school shooting where 10 students are shot dead and many others are injured by a boy named Peter. In the beginning Peter is portrayed as a psycho, a cold blooded murderer. I feel nothing but anger towards him as the author describes the calm, carefree way he marches through the school and ends the innocent lives of many.

As I read on, the chapters go back into the past. I learn about the true Peter. His family, his upbringing and the shocking amount of bullying that he has put up with from the moment he started kindergarten. Peter is a pale, thin and small 17 year old boy with glasses and a loving mother and father. They do everything they can to make Peter’s life a happy one and to their knowledge, he is happy. So what has driven him to commit such a horrible crime?

I then learn about Peter’s schooling which has been made hell by bullies from day one. He is called names, beaten physically, verbally, mentally and emotionally and generally made to feel unaccepted, unwelcome and an outcast. By the time he is halfway through high school, he can’t take much more and with careful planning he plots to eliminate the bullies for good.

Have you ever been made to feel small? Unworthy? Like you don’t fit in? If you’ve ever felt bullied in any way then you will know it is truly an over-whelming feeling. The feeling of humiliation is one that is difficult to let go and leaves a deep wound not only in your self esteem but your innocence, your confidence and ultimately your heart.

Or…Have you ever made someone else feel small? Stood on those at the bottom on your way to the top? Is it easier to watch others squirm under the foot of humiliation because it’s not you? So often we are too worried about our own social status to protect that of others.

As humans we long to belong and we strive for acceptance. It is important to reach out to others and connect because the worst kind of loneliness is when you are lonely in a crowd, isolated yet surrounded.

‘This is my commandment: To love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.’ John 15:12-14

Our Lord Jesus Christ is our one true friend. We can ALWAYS count on Him to accept us, to help us, to know us and to love us unconditionally. How do we know that Jesus loves us? Because He died for us.
You are never alone.

Weep No More

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One thought on “Nineteen Minutes

  1. The sickening stress of bullying is a difficult thing to overcome. Jesus was bullied, made unwelcome and even denied by his own followers. He is the best one to go to for help, he will never let you down. Learn about the lives of saints and the ridicule and “bullying ” they endured, all for the glory of God.

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