Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lessons Learned

I can only imagine how Mrs. Richards must have felt that Wednesday in class. She probably had about 30 fifth graders at the brink of puberty grating on every one of her last nerves. She probably had parents asking why their children weren't getting A's. Perhaps there was some hyper suck-up of a student begging her to let them erase the chalkboard. And then there was Bobby. He wasn't the brightest crayon in the box. He got distracted a lot, and here lately he was falling asleep in class. To top it off he had missed school since last Friday. She had given him homework, but of course, he hadn't done it. She was at her breaking point. She walked up to Bobby, who was staring out the window blankly. "Bobby" she stabs, "what in the world was more important this weekend than doing your homework?" Bobby looks down, "My mom died." Lucky, lucky Mrs Richards. Bobby is my now a grown man with three kids, and I just happen to be his oldest. My dad lost his mother when he was only 12 years old. Years later, when he was 24, he looked down at his newborn daughter and passed on one of the only things he had left of his mom; her name. My middle name is Camilla, and I am named after a grandmother I never knew...in person. Sometimes people leave us far too soon. We are left to question why they leave so quickly, or why, if you're a Christian, God would call them home. My father I am sure grappled with these questions. To many it may seem that my father was robbed of his mother, but God works in mysterious ways. Years after my grandmothers death my father was contacted by a woman from Wisconsin. Her name was Kathy, and her mother, Kitty, was a friend of my grandmothers. Turns out that Kitty saved everything, including about 60 letters my grandmother had mailed her. Kathy was wondering if my father would want them back and he leaped at the opportunity. Not only did he get to read these letters and get to know a woman he lost too soon, but now her grandchildren would know her too. The even more awesome thing? My children, and their children, and my great grand children will get to know her too. Lucky, lucky them. When Jesus left the disciples, he had been with them for three short years. I am sure that they also felt he was taken too soon. Believers today know the rest of the story, but they didn't. I am sure they might have felt a lot like my dad in fifth grade, and when he rose three days later, they probably felt elation that far outweighs what my father felt when he received those letters. That being said, for those of us who weren't there that day, we still get to read the letters that were left behind. We still get to learn about and get to know a man that we have yet to meet. And the awesome thing?? We get to pass these things down, and we know that we aren't alone. We have the word of God, the Spirit of the Father, and the fellowship of believers. Lucky, lucky us.

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