The Boy Who Was Misunderstood

This story is rather special to me partly because it took a good deal longer to develop than the rest and because I visited an assisted living home the day after I completed it. Understanding what made the Greatest Generation so great is a treasure left undiscovered by most of us today. As this series heads to its conclusion, I hope you find the chance to take the time and reflect on life and reach out to someone you normally wouldn’t think about. One more to go, until further notice.

The Boy Who Was Misunderstood
by J. D. H. Thigpen 

There once was a boy named Thom Glumb. Thom was a typical

rebellious teenager, right down to the unsavory trousers and tattered

skate-shoes. Poor young Thom was convinced that he was a loner and

had therefore pushed away those that actually did want to know him.

He had decided that he was misunderstood and proceeded to make

himself difficult to understand.

So it was for Thom’s highschool years. He slowly replaced his real

friends with people that he thought were ‘cool’ because they knew how

to enjoy themselves with a little help from profanity and stimulants. He

lost sight of his grades. He quit his job, because corporations were no

longer in vogue. He found a like-minded girlfriend and tried to convince

himself that she made him happy.

Life went on in this manner until one brisk morning in September.

The rain clouds had gathered in droves and the aspen trees had

abandoned their leaves. The day seemed to mirror what Thom felt in

the pit of his heart. That was the morning that Mr. Glumb threatened

to discipline Thom with the only thing that held any weight in Thom’s

mind: his car.

At his wife’s request, Mr. Glumb told Thom that he could keep his

keys only if he agreed to visit his grandfather at the assisted living

home once a week. Reluctantly Thom consented and set about it the

next day. In spite of all his faults, Thom kept his promises and therefore

actually did go to see old Father Glumb. And he was all the better for it.

The old man had a wry smile which seemed to say to Thom that here

was a man that had weathered too many hardships to take life too

seriously anymore. Thom was surprised to find that an aged relative

could be sarcastic, and, half against his will, took a liking to him almost

instantly. The conversation on their first visit was so invigourating that

Thom was actually eager to visit again the next week. Father Glumb

made him feel valuable, and never let him forget that he had the

potential to be a good man.

It was not long before Thursdays were Thom’s favourite days of

the week. Gradually the conversations became deeper and shifted

from Thom doing most of the talking and Father Glumb listening

intently, to Thom eagerly listening to stories from Father Glumb’s life.

Thom became intensely curious as to what had made Father Glumb

into the man that he was.

The more Thom learned about his grandfather, the more he began

to realize that in his frenzy to make people see his point of view he

had lost sight of the virtue of listening. When at last the day came

for Father Glumb to make acquaintance with his Master, whom he

had served all of his days, Thom found that his grief had given way

to a desire to be the sort of man Father Glumb had always told him

that he was. At last Thom knew that it is better to understand than

to be understood.


About Jonathon Thigpen

I am a student, writer, photographer, traveler, teacher, and Lego enthusiast, who is endeavouring to be a man after God's own heart.
This entry was posted in Community, Philosophy, Redemption and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Boy Who Was Misunderstood

  1. Pingback: Then One Man Wept. . . | Prospect of Redemption

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