The Least of These – A (not quite) Book Review

Jesse WoodsI’m predisposed to like anything Chris Fabry writes. 1) He’s a West Virginian, and 2) He’s a fantastic writer. But putting my predilection aside, The Promise of Jesse Woods is a fantastic book.

I knew kids like Jesse when I was growing up–the kids so poor the poor kids looked down on them. Fabry’s book makes me want to travel back in time so I can befriend one girl in particular. She wasn’t always clean. Her clothes weren’t in style. Her family had a reputation for being the very least of these.

Recently, my second grade teacher posted a picture of our class on Facebook. There she is–smiling, looking ready to take on the world. That’s not how I remember her and it makes me realize I didn’t know a thing about her. And I certainly didn’t try to learn.

I did a little research and found that girl on Facebook. My initial thought was to reach out to her and tell her I’m sorry I wasn’t nicer when we were in second grade. But as I learned a little bit about her, I realized it probably wasn’t such a great idea after all.

I now know she was one of ten children. I know she’s married and appears to have children and maybe even grandchildren of her own. She looks good. She looks happy. Her clothes are in style.

Why in the world would I get in touch with her to say I was guilty of harboring prejudice toward her in second grade? Because a story by Chris Fabry reminded me that maybe I wasn’t quite as sweet as I like to remember?

The things is, I don’t have to look into my past to find people I’ve judged. Maybe what I should be focusing on is the people I encounter each day. The people I consciously or unconsciously label as the least. Maybe I should focus on how each and every one of them has a story and challenges and plans and dreams and disappointments.

Just like that girl in second grade.

And just like me.

2 thoughts on “The Least of These – A (not quite) Book Review

  1. mom

    Well said! I hope you have mailed that book on to Beth. Her birthday is this week. BTW: I would like to see that picture of your second grade class.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s