We all need constants in our lives. One of mine is that the gentleman in the above pictures always has a bag of pretzels in his office to share with me and my teacher's aides. The past two years it was the lovely Megan Hill, and this year, it is the lovely Minna Wong. Daily, they have stopped by his office while helping me to visit and get a few pretzels from the legendary Dr. Robert Farrar. I wrote this about him on February 22, 2006. Many of you know by now that Doc's beloved wife, Polly, slipped into eternity early this morning. Polly was a faithful reader of my devotionals and this was her all-time favorite. We miss Polly already- pray for Doc in his grief.
I turned my FM button to 107.5 this morning, hoping to hear one of my favorite oldies as I made the four minute drive to school. Instead of The Byrds' Turn!Turn! Turn! or The Four Seasons' Rag Doll, I heard deejays (excuse me: radio personalities!) discussing a poll. The question posed was whether voters would be willing to have taxes raised if revenue generated would be spent on schools. More than half the respondents declared they would be in favor of such a measure. The voices on the airways kicked it around, expressing their opinions dealing with the allocation of funds. Everybody seems concerned that schools have the resources to effectively educate the youth of America. I teach at a Christian school. By nature, we get no government funding. We survive through enrollment and generosity of donors. Sometimes money is tight. In my first teaching and coaching job, faculty and staff were called together to discuss the imminent demise of the school if cash were not immediately raised. We dodged the bullet that term but several years later, Georgia Christian School did close its doors, if only for twelve months. Private schools often exist on frugality and prayers. But, at Westbury Christian, we have a resource that no other school I know can match. We have Doc.
Schools need a personality and ours is embodied by one man. Better known as Doc to the WCS student body, parents, faculty, and staff, Robert Farrar is our school chaplain but the term does not do him justice. Father figure, grandfather figure, mentor, spiritual advisor, counselor, comforter: Doc is all those descriptions and more. In his late seventies, he possesses several PH.D's, years of experience as a pulpit preacher, and a wealth of Biblical/life skill knowledge. You can find Doc every morning at the spot in our building where the lower, intermediate, middle, and high school halls converge. Doc gives a high five to every three to eighteen year old who passes, as well as moms and dads escorting their little ones to the classrooms. Each morning, he takes the absentee list and calls every family with a child out that day. When a WCS student has a relative in the hospital, Doc is there. When there is a death in one of our families, Doc is at the house and funeral home. When a youngster needs an ear to unburden the weight crushing his or her spirit, Doc's door is ALWAYS open. Before homeroom, Doc starts our school day with an intercom devotional message, which he has written, followed by prayer. Every Wednesday morning, he leads a 7:15 faculty devotional in the main lobby. It is such a joy to see our kids and parents walk in on our short worship, listening to words of wisdom flowing from the scriptures by way of Doc's mouth. I could go on but you get the picture. Doc is in the homes and lives of our school families, often at times of despair, fear, and even tragedy. What an opportunity to show the love of God and display the practical application of Christianity when it is most desperately needed! That's why I call Doc a resource. He is the Westbury Christian Goodwill Ambassador. That kind of positive relationship with the public, as well as those who spend their days within our walls, can NEVER be measured.
I have to close with one more story. Several years ago, we were having open house for prospective students. Doc and I were standing together as the Bible faculty, meeting our guests, telling them about our curriculum. Suddenly, someone came up and blurted, "You're that guy on the radio!" They were right. For years, Doc produced a short Biblical message that was broadcast daily on a Houston station. The visitor to our school did not know Robert Farrar but he heard the voice in conversation with someone else and immediately recognized the source. In John 10, Jesus speaks about sheep following the shepherd because they know his voice. I guess that is just one more title to give Robert 'Doc' Farrar; Shepherd of Westbury Christian School!
Applicable quote of the day:
"He that does good for good's sake seeks neither paradise nor reward but is sure of both in the end."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org