Who knows what the day will bring? My prayer is that I am prepared to handle everything that I may encounter. The other day was one of the times I barely made it out alive.
One of my former students came by to me see after school. I hadn’t seen this student in about 8 months and wanted to know what she was up to. We’ll call her Sarah (no, that isn’t her real name, this time).
A couple of months back, she and I had been corresponding by way of a school-approved portal, when she wrote, “Mr. Brown, I have so many horrible things to tell you.” I immediately wanted to know everything. Weeks passed and I she hadn’t reached out. This brings us back to the other day.
When she came through the door, I exclaimed, “Sarah! Come here and give me a hug! I’m so happy to see you!” After initial salutations, she and I sat at my desk. She told me about how well she was doing in school, urging me to tell students not to go to her high school where she is currently enrolled. We laughed for a bit, as I asked her about other students that were in her class previously.
Then it happened.
“Well, Mr. Brown, I’ve been diagnosed with Stage 1 [cancer] in my stomach.” Being as positive as I normally am, I said, “You’ll be fine. It’s good that they caught it early. Stage 1 is curable.” The enormity of her statement didn’t really sink in until later. She continued by telling me that it was a little scary because she is on so much medication. “You’ll be just fine. I’ll make sure that I check up on you.”
And to make matters worse, she also informed me that she has an issue with her lower intestine that has her on a very strict diet. I thought to myself, “My God. This is a bit much right now.”
I usually use my commute to unwind, reflect and decompress from the day I experienced. This was no ordinary commute. As I was listening to music, riding home, I thought about how my darling student was going through so much. [It’s no secret that I love all of my students, but I consider her to be like a daughter.]
I said to God, “I grow tired of bad things happening to good people. She’s just a kid. I don’t get it.” It was in that instant that I was reminded that it “rains on the just as well as the unjust (Matt. 5:45). “ That scripture didn’t surface to pacify my emotions, but it let me know that bad things happen to everyone. It doesn’t mean that God is asleep at the wheel; it means that trials will come. We just have to know what to do when they arrive.
Don’t use prayer as a last resort; it should be your first response.
Until Next time,
Love & Peace.