Story Time- My Best Friend in 7th Grade

“Hate cannot drive out hate. Only Love Can Do That.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Normally my Thursday Story Time posts are humorous, but my heart is heavy after watching the video of a man being murdered by police officers in Minnesota. Yes I said murdered because the man was already down on the ground, in handcuffs, and could not do anything. The officers could have placed him in the car and gone to the station but persisted in callous abuse of a helpless human being. The officers standing by were equally guilty for not intervening. I hope all of them are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law under 1st Degree Murder charges.

It sickens me to know that my friends who are African American worry about their sons going out for simple things like going to the store. It causes me to think about Lorenzo my best friend in 7th grade.

“We Must Learn to Live Together As Brothers Or Perish Together As Fools.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

My first realization of how hideously ugly racism is happened when I was 12 years old. My paternal grandfather was a racist. I was not aware of it when I was a little kid but something happened that opened my eyes.

When I was 12 years old and in 7th grade, my best friend at school was Lorenzo. As a 12 year old I had my best friend on my street, another best friend in Boy Scouts, but at school it was Lorenzo. Our lockers were next to each other the whole school year. We shared treats with each other. I visited his home a few times where his grandmother had cookies ready and waiting for us. Lorenzo and I laughed a lot as most boys do when they are 12. Lorenzo also happened to be the only African American kid in the school.

That was not an issue for me until one day I was in my grandfather’s car as he was driving. He pointed out the African Americans and used the N word saying there is one. It bothered me so I told him, “grandpa my best friend is black.” He never gave me a birthday present again. In his mind I was the black sheep of the family. I had defied him and his racism.

Racism is a terrible sin against God and our fellow human beings. It is saying to God that some people are inferior which is an insult to our Creator who loves all people equally. There is beauty in diversity of people. God in his artistry created us different, but we are all beautiful to him.

To put it bluntly, Jesus would not be welcome by a racist because he would have had an olive complexion while on earth along with probably black hair. I say that because he was born to a Mediterranean Jewish woman.

There is no room for racism in the Christian faith.

Lorenzo moved away after 7th grade. I never saw him again but have never forgotten him and pray for him when he comes to mind. I wonder how he is doing. I am so thankful he was my best friend in 7th grade.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

45 thoughts on “Story Time- My Best Friend in 7th Grade

  1. Thank you for this post, Matt. I love that God created all of us, no matter the color, the gender, the socio-economic status, the mental capacity, the athletic ability, the physical characteristics. God created each of us and He created us in His image. All of us. I hope everyone I meet can see that I value them, no matter what.

  2. Oh so sad! That a very important thing though that Jesus loves you no matter what color you are and that even if they are a different color they shouldn’t be treated any differently

  3. The song “Jesus loves the little children” came to mind. It is a shame that prejudice is still prevalent in our world. We need to learn to love and respect everyone.

  4. I think racism is pointless. No matter what color skin a person has, they are a human being like the rest of us. I read somewhere once that “No one is ‘white’ and no one is ‘black’. We are all just different shades of brown.” That is quite an eye opener.

  5. As in…. we all have shades of black white and grey.
    Let’s be more accommodating πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜€πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜€πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜€

  6. That’s such a sweet story about Lorenzo. I’m thankful that God is a God of unconditional love and justice. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Saddens me when people judge period especially over skin color…it’s so awesome that you still think and pray over your friend ❀️

  8. Racism is ugly, but your love for your friends of all races and colours (and that you still remember your friend Lorenzo with fondness and prayers) makes me teary in a good way. ❀

  9. Phew. Wow – @your granddad’s reaction.
    Thank God you still continued to relate with everyone. Because before God we are all equal.
    We only have the human race – not black or white race.
    May we all grow in love for one another. πŸ™

  10. Your post brings me to tears. Racism is so ugly and rooted in evil. So many of us were hurt by it in our own homes. I was told by my mom when I was in high school not to “bring home any boyfriends who were black.” I was devastated by this because I like you never even thought about it. This was my first realization of racism in my own family and I cried and cried at the injustice. My mom and I have had many difficult conversations where I called her out on the awful lies that were fed to her by generations past. I just refused to partner with that evil. And the curse of racism can be broken when we choose to not partner with the lie. Just as you broke free, I have as well.. and Jesus gets all the credit. This has to end. May we all live in peace and see the absolute beauty of Gods creation in every single person that we meet. Each human is a beautiful and PERFECT masterpiece by the very Hands of God.

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