What I'm Reading

Witnessing

John Moe’s article in the New York Times Magazine opens with his fear of bullies his daughter will face. We all think we know them, those “mean” girls who form cliques and don’t let anyone else in. But in his article Moe shifts abruptly from his apprehension for “mean” girls to a cheery description of “nice” girls, girls who socialize among themselves and with others with effortless congeniality.

I was riding the No. 63 bus home from work. At the stop after mine, five pretty, well-dressed teenage girls got on and sat right behind me. I wished I hadn’t forgotten my headphones that day because I didn’t want to hear the horrible things these girls were inevitably about to say. They talked nonstop.

“Hey, is it O.K. if Rachel comes with us on Friday?”

“O.K. But I don’t think I know her. Do I?”

“She’s my friend from that summer program. She’s really funny, I think you’d like her.”

“Great! I’m looking forward to meeting her!”

Down North Smith we rode, past the hospital, up Grand. The girls talked in overlapping bursts and lots of sentence fragments, a little too loudly, but everything was friendly and positive. These weren’t mean girls. These were nice girls. As we passed over the freeway, I capitalized the Nice Girls in my mind to give them a title, to make them a team in the hope they would stay together.

Moe’s picture of these friendly teenagers is a breath of fresh air after the backtalk and slander found in most television shows and movies. The article is a pleasant reminder that many relationships are just as warm as the friendship of these girls that Moe encountered on the bus.

Would that one day Christian behavior be so unexpectedly joyful that others like Moe would take notice and want to know why: that would be witnessing.

~

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

1 Timothy 4:12

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