That's him. He's a cool kid, that's for sure. He's one of my favorite people. He was in my history class, along with two of my other really great friends. At the beginning of the year, he wasn't the best person. I didn't know him super well, other than the fact that he went to my church. He always seemed like a sketchy person, and at the beginning of the year, I was right. He would swear a lot, even though he knew he shouldn't. He was very secretive. And he was very, very lazy. But, my friends and I talked to him pretty much everyday, because we knew him and he was our friend no matter what he did.
As the year progressed, he started hanging out with us more, rather than some of the other people in the class. We were always doing projects together and laughing and having fun while being productive (though that didn't always make the teacher happy). He didn't always like doing work, but we made him do it anyways. It was good for him. That was one of my all-time favorite classes of all of my high school career.
When we started to know him better, we started asking questions, things we wondered about. He always seemed taken aback by the things we thought he had done and defended himself. And then things would go back to normal. Towards the end of the year, we had a huge video project that he wrote the script for, and it turned out to be awesome (I'd post the video, but that would be too embarrassing). And it was because of him and his awesome talent as a musician and actor.
The year was finished, and we didn't see him as much. But we had an all youth activity where we went up and stayed in some cabins for four days. At the end of the four days, he came up to me and my two friends and told us with tears in his eyes (that he won't admit were there) that we literally changed his life, that we had motivated him to do better. We were all fighting tears at that point, amazed that we made such a difference. But what had we done? All we had ever done was talk to him, laugh with him, and ask him questions about the things that he did. We supported him and went to his plays, but that was really it.
I reflect on this story and I smile. I think about how it's the small things that really do make a difference, the small things that really motivate and transform a person into who they want to become. I also think about how I was too quick to judge, to assume that he was doing bad things. That was terribly mean of me, and I now have learned my lesson.
Now, he is working a job with kids that he absolutely loves. He is in an opera and aspires to become a music teacher. He is focused on preparing to serve the Lord, which I would never have thought he would do three years ago. He is truly an amazing person, and I am so glad that I have the chance to know him, because he is such a wonderful friend of mine.