Highlight of the week? It’s gotta’ be re-connecting with Daniel yesterday.
I’ve been tutoring a wonderful young man named Shawn for the past four years so I decided to attend his high school graduation. After all the pomp and pageantry, I was able to spend time with many students whom I have taught over the years and it was marvelous to hear their stories.
At one point, a bright red shirt caught my attention in the crowd – it was Daniel.
I first met Daniel in 2006, when he was a Grade 7 student. If he hadn’t gotten sick, I would have taught him in Grade 8. However, he was diagnosed with a serious cancer that required extensive medical care. For three years, he travelled back and forth to the hospital, underwent chemotherapy and radiation, lost his hair twice and dealt with indescribable pain and fatigue.
When I found out what he was going through, I felt deeply moved and wanted to help. So, my Grade 8 class and I put our heads together and decided to put on a huge assembly for him. We wanted to let him know that we loved and supported him. We spent weeks preparing for it. The students made huge banners, we raised money, bought gifts, prepared a cool dance number, wrote a song and had many students speak from their hearts. I was in touch with his parents and was able to visit Daniel at home but I didn’t tell him about the big surprise. His parents brought him to school one day and every student in Peoples Christians Academy was in the gym, waiting to greet him.
It was a glorious moment. His eyes lit up as people loved on him, encouraged and prayed for him, made him laugh and feel very special.
Apparently, he never forgot that assembly.
When our eyes connected in that crowd yesterday, we ran towards each other and hugged. We spent some time together, reminiscing about those difficult days. He was so thankful for all that his classmates and I had done for him but what really stood out to me was his spiritual maturity. He had become wise beyond his years.
“I learned about what was important and what wasn’t. My family and I clung onto God in the darkest of days and believed that I would be healed. It was tough but I’m doing well now. I can’t play basketball yet but …I never could before either!
I smiled all the way home.
In the midst of the most difficult circumstances, Daniel had learned about what was important and what wasn’t. He had climbed the mountains and ignored the molehills.
He gave all the glory to God and he stood tall…and healthy.
The hour is coming when we shall be astonished to think what mere trifles were once capable of discouraging us; for though many things we now meet with have a kind of importance respecting the present life and our natural feelings, yet when we come to see things as they are, and get a clearer view of the difference between temporary and eternal, –of the lightness of the one and the weight of the other,– we shall be satisfied there is a greater disproportion between them than between molehills and mountains; and that when the Lord has put us in possession of the pearl of great price, the gain or loss of a pebble was hardly worth a serious thought. John Newton