Yesterday, I finally caught a fuller glimpse of what made one of my good friends so mature beyond his years, and I felt a mix of respect, sadness and gladness for him.
For someone so young, he has had to bear responsibilities and burdens beyond what his peers have to normally bear. I doubt ‘carefree youth’ is a term he can identify with, and I can only imagine how he must have often wished for it.
Being quite selfish myself when it comes to asserting my personal rights and freedom, I am awed by how much he has given up for the sake of others. I wonder if he realizes it. Somehow I suspect that he doesn’t get shown much appreciation by those he serves and loves, and that perhaps he might even feel bad about himself for not doing more.
I can’t help feeling sorry for him that he isn’t able to live a little more for himself or to just pursue his dreams and passion without worry. Still, I am more glad than I am sad for him. Because I look at him and I see something very rare in our world of material comfort. I see a young person unjaded by frivolous pleasures. I see someone who lives almost wholly for others but who has amazingly little resentment. I see a person who lives under a tremendous amount of stress and negative energy but whose heart is deep and wide enough to contain all that and still radiate warmth and joy all around him.
I had thought he lacked liberty but I was wrong. For even in circumstances where there seems like we have no choice, we always have the ability to choose how we accept our fate. It is this freedom that makes its mark on our characters. My friend is free in the deepest sense of freedom.
I thank God for giving him such a big heart. I thank God for teaching me some profound truths simply through this friend’s life.
I pray that God will give my friend grace to keep loving even in the most challenging of times, and to find encouragement when he’s tired and in doubt. I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but I have faith that this friend will find a way to live a life that is his own, and in a way that is inclusive and generous to others.
My friend, åŠ æ²¹ï¼Don’t ever give up no matter how hard things go. You’re a blessing, you really are! :)