You know those moments when you know you should do something, but you don't because you are too afraid of what people might think of you? I do.
Those are the moments that make me think about orange juice.
I have a confession. A confession that is also a story. I have only told one person this story in my entire life so I really don't know why I am telling it now. But I am, because it needs to be told. I don't want others to make the same mistake I did.
I don't know why I walked away that day... okay... maybe I do. I just cannot get myself to admit that I let what others think be more important to me than what I knew inside my heart was right.
I don't know his name. I never will because I never asked. I was too busy thinking about myself. It was really crowded at school and I was brand new. I didn't know anyone and the last thing I wanted to do was stand out. I remember everything perfectly. I guess it made an impression on my mind. As everyone scurried to make it to their next classes before the tardy bell rang, he sat by his locker frantically trying to hold on to his stack of textbooks, plate of cookies and jacket. I think I noticed him because he seemed to have the same wish as me that day... to go unnoticed. He was an awkward looking kid whose glasses were too big, whose pants were too short, and whose clothes were anything but brand new. To put it frankly, he looked like the type of kid that had spent his whole life living in the shadows of the more confident and well dressed people around him.
I think he had some type of class presentation that day... or class party... I really don't know, maybe I am jumping to assumptions... but why else would be have a plate with 30 homemade cookies and a pitcher of orange juice in his locker? Anyway, the point is he clearly was trying to balance way more than anyone is capable of balancing in their hands. I watched as he carefully reached for the pitcher of orange juice at the top of his locker... as he reached the cookies slid a little too far to the side of his arm and started to fall, his immediate reaction (like anyone's would be) was to grab the falling cookies. But, as he did he dropped his textbooks all over the floor...
Then it happened. The pitcher of orange juice fell out of his locker and spilled all over the hallway, soaking his books in it's sticky orangeness and sending the crowds of kids running. I watched as some kids started to laugh at him and tell him how stupid it was to try to hold everything he was holding; I watched as other kids just walked away saying nothing as the orange juice spread further across the floor. He picked up his wet books and crumbled cookies and just sat there.
I had a very strong feeling that I was in that specific place because I needed to help him.
But I didn't.
I turned around and walked away.
And as I walked away, a flood of pain filled my heart. My whole life I had claimed to be a Christlike person, and here I was walking away from someone who needed my help the most. I was so mad at myself. It took a long time for me to forgive myself for what I did that day.
I guess what I am trying to say is don't be like I was. I would do anything to go back in time and not walk away, but I can't. So I try and do better each and every day. It is very hard sometimes, you think after an experience like that it would be a no brainier, but I still struggle. I can tell you one thing though, that day, after I walked away, I made a decision that I would never let an opportunity to serve someone pass me by through selfishness again.
You know how I said that as I walked away from that trash pile orange juice clouded my mind? Well it did, and that is exactly why I turned around and picked up that trash. I know it is a small step, but it is a step in the right direction.
I wish I could thank that boy for what he taught me. Maybe one day I will. I don't know if I will ever get that lucky, but until then I will do all I can to make up for that day. And every time I think about walking away from someone who needs my help I can guarantee you I will think of orange juice.