I saw you when you walked into class today.
Bare legged and wet from the rain, the first thing I noticed was the fear in your eyes.
Despite the fact that it’s early June, today was chilly. Outside, pollen flowed downhill in chalky yellow rainwater streams, and whirled around in eddies, parallel to small footpaths.
You couldn’t even look us in the eye, as our classmate gestured to an open stool for you.
I listened to you quietly introduce yourself at your turn, and I couldn’t help but notice how small you were, even though we were nearly the same height.
I told you to be careful, as you struggled to barely lift the drawing board you were to set on your easel.
When you stood next to me, my heart lurched to see how thin and blue your fingers were, the same color as your cracking lips. You were cold.
I could smell your rotten breath as you stuttered over your words.
I wanted to hug you when I saw the scratch marks on your legs. I wanted to tell you it would be okay.
I wondered about you at the end of the day. Wondered how you used the frailness of your battered body to make the most beautiful art. Wondered if you would go home tonight and cry yourself to sleep, the way I once did.
I wondered if you missed your family, if anyone else had noticed how sick you were. If anyone had noticed, besides me.
Most of all, I wondered how I could make you feel my compassion. I prayed for God to surround you, shield you, and strengthen you.
“The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV
You are millions of other people who need help. If only you knew, how not alone, how loved, and how enough you are. My heart aches for you to feel the comforting embrace of God.
In the most powerful name of Love,
If you think you may be at risk for suicide in the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor. Use that same number and press “1” to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.
If you are someone who may be struggling with an eating disorder, please visit this page. Help is available.