“You’re not normal.”

She had heard that all her life. Her size made her the victim of endless bullying when she was younger.As she was not the most academically inclined they used that as another verbal stick with which to beat her.

She wasn’t able to do the hairdressing job she wanted to do because of excuses salon managers came up with. She knew it was because of her looks. She resigned herself to doing a cleaner’s job in a care home. There she was even picked on by some of the nurses who would cruelly point out her deficiencies and tell her how she wasn’t normal and would probably be too ugly to ever end up even in a care facility like the one she was in.

By that time she was used to the name calling and jeering. She thought it was her lot in life to be the butt of the jokes and maybe never rise higher than the job she had. A lowly job for a lowly person.

Maria was a new nurse at the care home and when she came across this unkempt and dishevelled cleaner who quietly and quickly did her job to be able to avoid the bullying, her heart softened towards her. She eventually struck up a conversation with her. Maria and the cleaner. First it was the occasional chat over the early morning coffee. Then it was sharing the lunch hours together.

The care and consideration Maria took with her new friend really touched and blessed the both of them. Maria shared, her friend would share and over time the cleaner developed a degree of contentment with herself. She found joy in the job she had and soon even her detractors noticed how she was not just oblivious to their taunts but were almost seeing them as boosts to her for the day.

Puzzled they asked Maria what brought about the change.

“She’s found that life is not about looking to be normal. She’s seen what normal has done for those who have nothing better to do with their time than belittle the abnormal. She’s looked at herself again and discovered there’s nothing wrong with her abnormality. In fact beyond herself she has found a treasure so valuable that it’s redefined her very view on life. She sees your taunts as reflections of the abnormalities you haven’t woke up to address. It reminds her that she’s not the only abnormal one.”

As they stood with mouths wide open at such a monologue, Maria smiled patiently. Her cleaner came singing and sweeping along with her broom. They looked at each other and beamed as they said in unison their favourite saying.

“You’re not normal.”

For His Name’s Sake


C. L. J. Dryden


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