Ugly


ShipOfFools_web_10042015The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,

to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.
They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good, not even one. (Ps 14:2-3)

Ugly

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Fifth grade was a confusing time.

In the Cub Scouts I had earned my Wolf, Bear, and Lion badges and distinguished myself in earning my Weblos badge—Weblos is short for “We’ll Be Loyal Scouts”. But most Cub Scouts that I knew were not loyal—they skipped Weblos to graduate directly into Boy Scouts at age eleven.

In fact, most Cubs that I knew were not serious about earning badges. Neither were many Boy Scouts that I knew. Instead of earning badges, they played with their friends making trouble during meetings and running wild at camp.

At school during the week I had Mrs. S again where I enjoyed singing and was among the first to volunteer for the glee club—

Singing was just natural for me. Sometimes when I would get involved in my studies, I would forget myself and start singing or whistling to myself—Mrs. S reminded me not to.

Honesty was another natural for me. Without giving it any thought, I described myself as ugly in an essay—Mrs. S smiled after reading my essay and called out—hey ugly—to tease me.

—when attending glee club became popular just to get out of class, I quit. It was no fun being in a glee club with a bunch of cut ups.

On Sundays, we attended Grace Presbyterian Church. The Sunday school classes were well-attended and had lots of activities. One Sunday my folks got mad at me for cutting in front of the pastor as he walked down the aisle to the back of the sanctuary after the benediction. I was supposed to wait, but the pastor did not seem to mind. Later we started attending Riverdale Presbyterian Church where I joined the youth group, sang in the choir, and took voice lessons.

At home I watched a lot of action shows in the evening. Shows like The Gallant Men [1], The Untouchables [2], and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. [3] At school some of the guys started hanging out and being all secretive. So I asked what they were doing and was invited to be a member of their secret society that acted all serious, looked out for foreign spies, and carried water-pistols filled with salt-water in case of attack.

And that’s how I met my friend, Jon.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gallant_Men

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Untouchables_(1959_TV_series)

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_from_U.N.C.L.E.

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