Listening to the quiet sobbing in church behind me today, I wonder why I am here.
In what way can I possibly help? I don’t know what I am doing. Hearing those muffled tears searingly reminds me how inadequate I am to make any difference with these students. I want to walk out the door and not come back. I want to cut my losses and theirs and let them find someone more qualified to reach their teenagers. He’s crying again and I can’t keep singing. I can’t imagine the depth of this father’s pain. My heart is breaking for this man. I look around and wonder if the student in front of me was his friend. Did those silly junior high girls giggling across the aisle grow up with him teasing them as a brother like the other boys in this church do? And what about his brother? How is he doing? How is he putting one foot in front of the other? Lord, what do I have to do with this?! I have nothing to offer these people! I can’t think of one thing that will make any difference. They need a professional. Someone who knows what they are doing. I’m just a volunteer.
Almost as soon as the thought crosses my mind, I look up and see my friends leading worship this morning. What a long journey this dear couple has had. I remember when I first met him. So young. I think to the first time I saw him sing in church. Everyone was so touched. It was obvious even as a teenager that God had a special plan for him. And his wife, was she really in Jr. High the first time we met? I don’t even remember it but she told me years later what an impact our talk on abstinence had on her growing up. One talk, at one school. Really, Lord? Can you really use such a small thing? I guess You can.
That’s right. YOU can.
It’s not up to me to help these people through the pain of this suicide. It’s up to you. And even if I was a professional and had all the education in the world to draw from, it would still be up to You. You know how to reach the heart of these parents and comfort his brother. You know the history between the boys who walked the halls of the school with him each day and you know perfectly how to touch them through this tragedy. And, just as years ago, you chose me to be a part of the story of this dear couple, You have chosen me to be a part of this story too. I’ll trust you, Lord, to use someone as inadequate as me in the plan that you have for these students. I know that Your grace is sufficient for those who feel weak, and in my weakness, You are made strong. These people are yours, Lord. Use me according to your will.
Thanks for loving students even when it hurts,