Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Note

Sometimes, the best parables in life are the ones we see played out in front of us. This is one of those, from March 28, 2009.

This week in my sophomore classes, our memory work was 1st John 3:16-17. This is what the apostle told us in that passage:
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?"

As we discussed the verses and their meaning, I used Hillary as an example. One of these days, Hillary will be driving. (She does not have her license yet.) What would they think if I saw Hillary broken down on the road and all I did was roll down the window and tell her I would say a prayer for her? That's not love or compassion, especially in a spiritual sense. How appropriate that Reed Sutton would receive the following e-mail from a woman yesterday afternoon:
Hi, Mr. Sutton,
I understand that you are the assistant principal of Westbury Christian School. My name is ..............., and I am a resident physician at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital. I was on my way rushing to work today when suddenly I realized that I was out of gas. To my horror and embarrassment, my car sputtered and stopped suddenly. I was nervously waiting at the intersection of Hillcroft and Willowbend when a young man stopped and asked if I was ok. He asked if there was anything that he could do to help, and told me he was on his way to school at Westbury Christian School. I told him that there was nothing that he could do at that point unless he had gas in his car, which of course he did not. I told him that I was fine and that he should go on to school. Then, as I was waiting the obligatory 45 minutes for AAA to come, I saw the same young gentleman coming back to my car, but with about 8 or 9 other young men with him. Before I knew it they were all pushing my car to the gas station up the street! They pushed my car the entire 2 blocks to the gas station with no expectation but to help me out. I was extremely appreciative and very happy that such nice young men would be so willing to help someone in need. Although I thanked these young men profusely, I was not able to get their names when they came to help! I would like to at least show my appreciation by buying them some pizza, ice cream, or something of that nature. I am extremely grateful for their assistance!!! If you could please help identify these nice young men, that would be wonderful. At the very least, please pass this note along to express my gratitude.
Thank you for fostering such great values in your students!

Here was Reed's reply:
Good afternoon Ms........,
Thank you so much for your note. Many times the notes that I receive in my office are concerns, therefore I am very excited to receive your email. I am replying to you while copying our faculty here at the school because these are the types of words of encouragement about our students that we love so much to hear. It is our very purpose at Westbury Christian to enlist spiritual warriors that make a difference in the lives of others. Your thoughtfulness in sending this note is a huge shot of adrenaline to our school community. We are so proud of these young men for their spirit of service and I believe that they reflect our student body as a whole. I will stay in touch and would love to meet you. You are also invited to come by the school and visit as well. The best time might be during one of our chapel services next Tuesday at 8:30 am or Thursday at 9:30 am. Thanks again for taking the time to write and have a God-Blessed weekend!
Mr. Reed Sutton
Upper School Assistant Principal
Westbury Christian School

You could make a parable, and a devotional blog, from those correspondences. I love what I do and where I do it and today, I am even prouder. There are so many good kids out there and we have no market on them but these young men perfectly illustrated our lesson from 1st John and reflected the spirit of the Lord from our school. I know one Houston doctor who would agree with me.

Appropriate quote of the day:
"The act of compassion begins with full attention, just as rapport does. You have to really see the person. If you see the person, then naturally, empathy arises. If you tune into the other person, you feel with them. If empathy arises, and if that person is in dire need, then empathic concern can come. You want to help them, and then that begins a compassionate act. So I'd say that compassion begins with attention."
Daniel Goleman

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at


Warren Baldwin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Warren Baldwin said...

Great story. I will use it for an sermon illustration - tomorrow.
Family Fountain:

Note: The deleted comment was mine. I put a wrong address to my blog. WB

Sherry Ann said...

Wow, what an exhortation! You must be very proud with the students at your school. Such a fantastic model in our society these days....