The train droned on.
Through misty window, through tinted glass, the girl looked. And when the window looked back, she knew it was true.
I’m a failure. The thought settled in, making itself comfortable in the combines of her mind. She allowed the thought to become her, to transform her identity. She truly believed it.
I’m a failure.
“No you’re not.” The voice caught her off guard. She raised her head and looked into the eyes of a man. She stared at him, wondering how he could have heard her thoughts. Did she say it aloud? How could he know?
“You’re not a failure.” Those were caring words– gentle words. His head cocked ever-so-slightly as he said it, his brown hair falling with gravity across his forehead.
She couldn’t formulate words; she just kept staring at him. How did he know? Who is he?
“I don’t know what you’ve been through. I don’t know who you are or what you’ve done. But I do know that everybody is special, that everyone has gifts and talents that make them unique. Everybody fails, yes. But nobody is a failure.” His red lips cracked into a soft smile.
She wanted to believe it; anyone would! But when she turned her gaze back to the window, back to her past, she simply couldn’t accept what wasn’t true.
“If you knew me you’d agree with me.” she looked back into his eyes. They were big. Inviting. She looked deeper. This was a man who had a deep love for people, a man who cared about those around him. He didn’t make judgments about them or spread hate like most people did. No, this man was different.
Before they could exchange any further words, the train pulled into the station with the toot of a whistle and a creak in the wheels. But before the man left, he reached in his bag and pulled out a book and handed it to her.
“I hope you change your mind.” With a soft smile and a nod, the man turned and left the train car.
She looked at the book in her hands. It was a Bible. With one final glance at the condemning window, she exited the train. She had made her decision: she would accept her failures and move on. She refused to be defined by them.