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One of the few times in my life when I was left speechless.

February 10, 2017

imageI drove to work last week in the early morning in my 1992 Jeep Cherokee with the coughing engine and the gas tank lid that’s held shut with a wadded piece of paper.  I pulled up in the school parking lot at 6:05 a.m. and looked out over the quiet empty campus.   How long have I been getting up at 5 a.m.?

I came into the classroom in the silence, turned on the lights, and wiped down the desks with a cloth sanitizer – we’ve been battling the flu on the campus.  I emptied the trash cans and sat down to a pile of quiz papers and essays to grade and realized how how many years  I had been in this classroom routine – was it now almost three decades?

Was it a routine?  I sat there and pondered this. Lord, is this making any difference in these teenagers’ lives?

You know, you get to wondering about your abilities sometimes.  I think all teachers come to a time of self-inspection, especially Bible teachers.  Are we making any kind of an impact?  Are we properly teaching God’s Word and ways?  This was one of those times for me.

At 7:55 students started shuffling in quietly before the first period was to begin.  Some were blinking and yawning, some rubbing their eyes and others glancing at an assignment they hadn’t yet done.

Soft-spoken Stefanie sat down at her desk nearby and turned toward me.

“I want to thank you,” she said abruptly.

“Well, that’s very nice,” I replied, “but why?”

“I want to thank you,” she responded quietly, “for teaching my brother.”

Quickly in my mind I recall that I had taught her brother Carl about three years ago.

“Because,” Stefanie continued, “when I was growing up, he would never talk to me at home.  He wouldn’t share with me – nothing.  He stayed away from me.  He ignored me all through my childhood –  just sort of tolerated me, but mostly disregarded me altogether.”

She shifted in her chair.

“But then when he was in your class he was taught the Greek word agape – the word about self-sacrificing love, the ‘giving’ love,” she paused for emphasis, “…and that changed him.  He realized that he hadn’t been loving.  He realized a lot of things that day, and one of them was to love me and be close to me.”

“And from that day on he’s been my brother.  And I want to thank you for teaching him.”

Very few times in my life have I been speechless.  I choked a bit and thanked her.

And I thank you, Jesus.  Thank you for this privilege of instruction to these wonderful young people.




I love being a teacher.

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