My initial reaction was nausea… then the nausea was followed by deep sorrow…. My heart hurt for this young man. I’m almost sure that he was completely blind-sighted by the backlash caused by his shirt. I’m positive that all he wanted to do was share the gospel. Instead, he was tar and feathered by two bitter crows.

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I must shamelessly tell you that I am a social media junkie. I regularly lose track of time while scrolling down my FB newsfeed and have been called a “social-media-addict” by many. Nevertheless, I have found social media to be a creative outlet where I can express myself freely. I use it as a platform to inspire others, bring encouragement, spread laughter, and give hope to the hurting.

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I was aware of her traumatic childhood. I was also aware of how it had impacted her life. Her father was extremely abusive to her mother and to the family. In fact, she bore a small scar near her eye from a brick that her father had flung at her when she was little. Her experiences caused her to be abrasive in her interactions at times. She could be distrusting of people and it took a while to gain her trust.

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“Hey John,” he said, “You get picked on a lot, at school, don’t you?” For a moment I paused. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to answer his question. If I chose to be honest, maybe he’d show some compassion. But in my fourteen years of living, I came to understand that compassion was not an adverb that was commonly used to describe teenage boys. If one existed, he would surely have to be placed on an endangered species list.

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