Never rich—well not in the ways of the world—he was rich with words. He could mold them and weave a story that would captivate and teach at the same time. You would walk away never knowing that you had learned a lesson you would use later in life.
I find myself often starting a story with, “Well, my Dad once told me…” A kind friend said I should write the stories down—so I do, and I will. This story is rather simple, but it’s a story of redemption; of love; of looking to Christ.
A young boy full of angst is sent out of the classroom for disruptive behavior. He lay on the floor outside the classroom counting the tiles on the ceiling and wishing he was somewhere else. Anywhere else. The class breaks for lunch and his classmates run all around him, but he still lies there, unmoved. Out of the corner of his eye he sees his teacher. He braces himself for another lecture but instead he is greeted with warm hands cupping his face and a heartfelt smile. She looks into his eyes and sees in them his true potential. She said one simple phrase that forever changed his life, “Joe, you are better than this.”
And he believed it.
He would become a teacher to thousands of would-be teachers. His love for children and their pure innocence would guide his discourses. They all shared the similar refrain. “Be kind to them, be gentle. For they need to know you see their true potential”.
He was always a teacher to his children. His lectures and stories would all have the same theme, “Look to Christ and live. He knows your true potential. He knows who you are and what you can become. You are better and more amazing than anything you can imagine. You are better than this”.