I am truly grieved that Lynzee Benoit never had the chance to meet Bart Palosz.
She would have warmed Bart’s heart with words of encouragement, assuring him that his towering stature, Polish accent and pockmarked face couldn’t keep the God of the universe from lavishing His love upon him. And Lynzee would have undergirded Bart’s spirit with truth, the truth that the God who so loved him also had a unique role for him in this world, a role that ultimately would lead to indescribable fulfillment.
But all 15-year-old Bart Palosz knew and experienced on August 27, 2013, was discouragement … denigration … and desperation. It was the first day back to school, and it would turn out to be Bart’s last day. He went home and later that afternoon killed himself with the family shotgun.
You see “back to school” for Bart meant “back to being bullied,” and when he discovered that his sophomore year in high school was going to be just like the previous seven years, full of torment and pain, he drowned in hopeless despair.
Lynzee can tenderly relate to Bart’s pain, she has suffered at the hands of bullies because of facial asymmetry due to missing muscles and associated problems stemming from hydrocephalus. But Lynzee’s pummeled spirit has instead found rich renewal, basking in the inexhaustible, comforting truths of her Lord and Savior found in His Word. She’ll never have the chance to say it to Bart, but she’s saying it now to others who are bullied:
“There is way more to life, to the grand scheme of things, beyond what people think of you – whether you are to them – too fat, too skinny, you’ve got too many freckles or acne, or your face doesn’t look right. You were created by Someone who holds you in the highest esteem … you are the apple of His eye.”
As millions of children contemplate going back to school, it’s critically important that parents, educators and friends remember that some will be experiencing far more than first-day jitters – they will be racked with overwhelming fear. Now is the time to #StopStandUp against Bullying!
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SOURCE: The Christian Post