Sunday, February 20, 2011

Back Of The Class

Sometimes, I have my classes turn their desks around and we see things from a totally different perspective. The kids who sit in back are now on the front row and vice versa. It's a good change for me as well. I like to change the physical proximity to the kids. Usually, I sit on the front three or four rows in our Sunday morning worship services. The past several weekends, though, I have sat in the back section to sit with Russell Carr. I teach and coach with Russell and also was honored to preach his wedding to the lovely Shara Martin. Since Russell's nationally ranked WCS boy's team is in its tournament run, I don't see him very much so we spend the minutes before worship catching up. And as happens when we rotate our desks in Room 258, the view and the landscape shift perceptibly.

Michael Edison is a sophomore in my Gospels class, seventh period and a member of my congregation. Michael is bright and hardworking, academically and athletically. He has a dream of making a career in the music business and he is very open to sharing the good news of Jesus with others. Desiree' McGowen is one of our former WCS teachers, Michael's former band instructor, and also a member of my congregation. Desiree' has an exceedingly rare genetic disorder which is robbing her of the ability to control her movements. Her disease is so uncommon that she and her sister, I believe, are two of only a handful of people worldwide with the condition. Because of the relentless nature of her illness, Desiree' can no longer teach but stays as involved in school and church life as she can. This is what I've noticed the past several Lord's Days from my back of the building perspective. I notice that when we take communion, Michael, without any fanfare, moves from his family pew to sit beside Desiree who, because of her wheelchair, must sit on a row with an aisle in front. Then, as the bread is passed, Michael picks the bread out of the tray for Desiree' and helps her participate in the body of Christ. When the cup is passed, Michael assists Desiree' in remembering the blood of Jesus. When communion is complete, Michael rejoins his family. You know, it's not a big deal but I bet it is to Desiree'. I don't think the Lord's Supper can be much more personal than that, than relying on your former pupil to commemorate the sacrifice of the cross. Jesus said it is a good thing for the student to be like the teacher. I can't tell you what instrument Michael plays but I can tell you the best lesson Desiree' passed on to Michael during that year in our band hall. I witnessed another magnificent performance this morning.

Applicable quote of the day:
"In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day's work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years."
Jacques Barzun

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post, I really enjoyed reading it. Brought a tiny tear to my eyes and joy to my heart. Hugs and blessings

Linda Fischer said...

gentle tears are falling. Thank you so much for sharing this story. Michael is one of my new heroes.

Andrew Opala said...