Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The One Word Answer

It was old home week in my classroom today, the first day back after the holidays. Welcome to 2018! A good number of my former students dropped in before they leave for college. Will, Christian, Micah, Tre', and Sam all visited with me. And Jesse, Elly, and Jean also made surprise appearances. Jean, my former teacher's aide and the reason all my teacher's aides select what I wear to school the next day, had to perform that task just one more time this afternoon! Rest assured, I will be presentable on Wednesday. I told my students the nicest gesture they can make towards their teacher is to drop in after they have left the hallowed halls of WCS, or any other school. My day was made by these still youngsters.

The most memorable alumni guest knocked on the door several minutes into eighth period, the last time slot of the day. I have one of my two eighth grade sections then and they had no clue of who the stranger was when Delvin entered the room. Delvin Dickerson graduated in 2012 from WCS. He is back in Houston and remains one of my favorite students ever. He was a terrific basketball player for us and Delvin's collegiate career culminated with his starting for North Carolina Central University against UC-Davis in the first round of the NCAA tournament last March. They lost but according to the Internet, Delvin started all thirty-four games for the Eagles in his senior season. That's a pretty good resume'. (In 2012, I wrote an unusual blog about Delvin which you can read here if you wish!  http://stevehawley.blogspot.com/2012/05/pencil.html)

After he hugged me and filled me in on what he's up to, I introduced him to my middle schoolers. I also asked him the same question I ask many former pupils when they stop by:
"Delvin, if you could tell these students one thing you wish you had known in eighth grade, what would it be?"
Delvin proceeded to give the shortest and best answer possible to that assignment:

He nailed it in one word. He told them he went to big public schools before coming to Westbury Christian as a junior and how he grew so much spiritually during his two years with us. Delvin reached into his shirt and pulled out the Honduras cross he received six years ago from me; he told the kids, "I never take it off." That was about it. Delvin is planning to be around some so, Lord willing, our paths will cross again before school lets out in May. Maybe he'll visit my eighth graders again.

Here's what I really appreciate about our interchange with Delvin: he replied to a question out of the blue with what was on his heart. He didn't have to gather his thoughts or make sure his wording was exactly right. He didn't go into some sermon or preach at the barely teens sitting before him. Many kids have to leave before they realize what they've learned. The daiy lessons go in one ear and out the other. Delvin didn't say our school is perfect- it isn't- but he said it can change a young man's life. I know it changed his and six hours ago, I hope it changed someone else's as well who was in their desks in Room 258. His answer has that kind of power. His answer is the source of power.

Applicable quote of the day:
“There are some questions that shouldn't be asked until a person is mature enough to appreciate the answers.” 
 Anne Bishop

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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