Bully is the kid in school who tied me to a goal post and let his friends throw clumps of dirt and grass at me. Bully was the so-called friend in school who beat me to a pulp until I fought a fight I did not want to make. Bully was the monarch for whom people sang songs asking God to save her and all the while she seemed to only care about preserving her family’s obscene wealth. Bully was the country that made my conscientious objector friend feel like a traitor for following his conscience. Bully was the boss who stole hundreds of dollars from a poor naive young employee. Bully was the driver who picked up a hitch hiker and tried to make a homosexual pass at him.
Bully was the employer who demoted me for a farm accident that was not my fault. Bully was the college professor who publicly betrayed my private mistake. Bully was the college administrator who used me as a private serf because I had no money, while those with money went on a summer adventure. Bully was the school counselor who tried to split us up before we were married. Bully was the pastor who preached about our private circumstances because we married with no money.
Bully was the boss on my first job who constantly verbally abused me. Bully was the assistant manager on my second job until I told her that I was did not want to be treated like dirt and that she should not use the language of a gutter snipe. Bully was the manager who would not let me take off work for religious days. Bully was the company that got me fired for observing my religious beliefs. Bully was the bank that allowed my daughter-in-law to get scammed and refused any accountability even though they had alarm bells ringing.
Bully is an acquaintance’s father who gave his favorite child the million dollar portion of the inheritance while giving the other child only a small token making her feel unloved. Bully is a brother that does not even care to know his sister’s deepest desires, but is too interested in talking about his plans and what he wants to even know that her heart is broken. Bully is on old woman who only has criticism and never compliments or words of encouragement.
Bully is the freeway driver in the fast lane who dangerously rides my tail. Bully is the politician who rudely and impolitely labels our President, rather than disagreeing with courtesy and respect. Bully is the college professor who indoctrinates in narrow and bigoted opinions rather than educates in a variety of opinions, teaching possible strengths and weaknesses of each. Bully is the advertiser who shoves products in my face in nerve-wracking and mind-numbing repetition.
Bully is the industry billionaire who lies about climate change or solar panels because he might not accumulate another billion or two. Bully is the billionaire who spreads propaganda and lies so that we as a country barely recognize what democracy is supposed to be like. Bully is the country that overthrows any legitimately elected government and sets up a dictatorship that is friendly to us, no matter how much harm it has done to the local people, euphemistically calling it regime change when all the while it was international bullying. Bully is a foreign President who steals Ukraine’s land and then claims that he is a Christian. Bully is the so-called Christians who claim that persecuting another race while burning a cross is right, and the so-called Muslim who murders innocents while claiming his is the way of peace.
Bully is ubiquitous, everywhere, in every corner of our land and our world. Bully is cowardice. Bully is not faith, but a lack of faith in God’s hand to right all wrongs. Bully is always wrong and will not end until we realize that coercion of and forcing others against their will is not freedom, that superior force ought to be used as an opportunity for giving to the world and not taking from the world. So, to all the bullies in my life, I give you the greatest force there is, forgiveness.
Now that does not mean I trust you. Forgiveness is a gift. Trust has to be earned.