For those who have read “He Was Weird” and those who are hoping to, you will know that Mark becomes a Born Again Christian fairly early in the story. Like me, he accepts Jesus as his saviour out of fear of eternity in hell because in his mind, he is determined to go to heaven. At first, his conversion has no direct impact on him, he just gets on with life, still suffering the bullying. It never impacts on his growing fantasy world where he is a star ice hockey player.
As the story develops, so does his faith. In the summer following his conversion, he goes to bible school and then to a church run summer camp where he has his week in paradise. That is the only time where his faith is an ultra positive for him. He is the star of the camp both in sports and in bible knowledge, which makes him popular enough to be voted camper of the week. It also during that week he has his only encounter with the opposite sex as he has a girlfriend for the week. It is no wonder why in that chapter, Mark feels he has been truly blessed by the Lord.
Naturally, it all comes crashing to Earth immediately after he comes back home. The bullying doesn’t go away, in fact it only gets worse, much worse. That has a knock on effect on just about everything he does and is seen as a failure in school, sports and in life generally to just about everybody. His prayers to the Lord to deliver him from the hell he is facing go unanswered and those in authority, who could help him, don’t. Neither do his own efforts like when he asks his father if he could go live with him. Therefore it is no wonder that he eventually snaps and goes to school with two guns and mows down his classmates.
The little twist of irony is that when he justifies his actions to himself via two verses in the bible. That’s because his faith is so literal, that he truly believes that God is showing him the way out through scripture and he goes and carries out God’s will. After his big climax, his local minister does mention what a good Christian Mark was and how he must have been blessed by God because why else would Satan heap so much misery on him? This is something that could be debated for years.
Like Mark, the bullying I experience at the same time in my life was so bad that whenever I hear or read about a school shooting, my first reaction is, “This could have been me.” Fortunately, God did hear my prayers and I moved out of that town and the bullying stopped. That strengthened my faith as a Christian at the time.
The final question in my mind is that if my book was actual, how would God judge Mark? Would he be a villain or victim? How much would he take into account the suffering Mark was going through? Would God say that he is forgiven his sins or tell him he hadn’t suffered as much as Job? Another point that could be debated, as to this day, the contradictions between God’s wrath and mercy still cause great conflict in my Asperger’s like mind.
Next post: I Found the Right Faith For Me