| Anela woke with a start. She searched for her clock, who announced the time as 1:30 AM. Had Anela heard something? If not, what had awakened her? She suddenly
realized it had something to do with her choice, her real decision to accept Jesus as her Savior. Something was wrong. Whatever could it be, and why did
she have to contemplate that mystery right now? It was the middle of the night, and she had to teach the next day.
Across town, Kyle Smith awoke with a start, though his abrupt desertion of slumber land was quite different. He looked at his own clock, as he struggled
to find his phone. It was strange to see the blinking numbers: 7:30 on a Tuesday morning! Normally, he would have been...no, he mustn't think about that.
Besides, he had to answer the phone.
"Hello?" he answered hesitantly.
"Anela? It's...oh, do you want to meet this weekend?...oh, it's that urgent? Well, we can meet at 5:30 this evening. Do you want me to...oh, okay, I'll
meet you at the school at 5:30. Yeah...later." Kyle hung up the phone with some trepidation. What was Anela up to? She sounded so excited, but a little hesitant at the same time. Why was the matter so urgent? Oh great, he would have the entire day to worry about it… oh well, at least they were going to figure it out that evening.
Kyle approached the school with growing apprehension. Would Scott be there? Certainly Anela wouldn’t be so cruel… but what if there was a problem?
“Anela,” Kyle quietly announced his arrival.
“Oh, hi, how’s it going?” That was strange, Anela was smiling; she was usually so serious.
“Okay, what’s going on?” Kyle asked, more sharply than he had intended.
“Well,” she began hesitantly. She said a quick prayer and plunged ahead.
“I have a confession, and then I have to tell you about something that happened yesterday. I think, well.…I hope you’ll be glad to hear it.”
“Okay, what’s up?”
“In a conversation we were having one day… I think it was right after Sierra got out of the hospital… anyway, you said something about believing in God, and I agreed with you. Those were just words on my part. I knew all the right things to say, the youth pastor drilled it into me. I pretended to accept it out of respect for him; he was the only person who really cared about me. Anyway, I pretended to be into this “Jesus thing,” but my heart was hardened. It wasn’t real, and eventually, I forgot about the things he told me. The effect wore off, and I just didn’t care anymore. Yesterday….Scott came to class quite excited! He talked about how he was told about God, and how He wanted to be Scott’s friend. Then Scott extended that invitation to everyone, students, teachers, his therapists….at first, it really bothered me. I mean, an eight-year-old got it, and I didn’t have it figured out yet. I was talking to my aides yesterday after the conversation with Scott, and they completed the picture for me. They showed me what to do and led me into a real relationship with Jesus, the God I had so brazenly spurned all those years. When I went out for recess, I found that God had invaded my students; Scott had instigated a revival in my class. Several students returned to class as….oh, here it is.” She searched through her Bible to find the right passage. “I read this morning that “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation....”That’s what nhappened, they were new creations. The students who could speak shared their feelings to the best of their ability, and Jane and Anna told me that those who are nonverbal had expressions of pure and uncluttered joy on their faces. I just wanted to share that with you….and to apologize. I didn’t realize I was living a lie until yesterday.”
“I guess that leads me to my own confession. I used to believe in God. Scott’s mother, Hannah, was totally “on fire” for God. She was so full of life, and her love for the Lord was displayed in everything she did. I believed in God, but I wasn’t into it like she was. I thought eligion was a private thing, you know, it was something I did on the weekend, then I just went back to living my life the way I wanted to with no real desire to live for God….not like Hannah. I could see that Sariah was going to be just like her mother, but I really discouraged Scott from becoming involved in it. I’m sure he was rather conflicted….seeing his mother so into church, when I told him he wouldn’t have to go. When we were dating, I told Hannah I believed in God, and I played the part really well….I should have been an actor. Anyway, I didn’t have a firm foundation, and I didn’t really care, so when Hannah, Sariah, and the baby she wanted to name Emily died, that foundation of sand was totally shaken and just collapsed. If I didn’t really have an interest in God before, ,I certainly didn’t want to have anything to do with Him after that, especially after I found out that Scott was paralyzed. Hannah would surely say that God could heal Scott….if it was His will.” Kyle did not try to disguise the bitterness that gradually crept into his voice.
“Do you still feel that way?” Anela asked quietly.
“Absolutely!” Kyle said. It was clear that their was no room for argument.
“I’ll be praying for you, Kyle.”
“Don’t tell me that, like Brandon and Amy and all of Scott’s therapists and social workers, you’re going to start preaching to me.”
“No, it seems to me that it would be pointless to try to talk to you about these things if you don’t want to hear about them.”
Kyle knew he had been unduly harsh with Anela; he hadn’t meant to take out his aggressions on her. She didn’t deserve to be treated like that. She had initiated this meeting to confess, which took great strength, and she just wanted to encourage him.
“Yeah, I’m sorry, Anela. I was lost in thought. I apologize.” He turned abruptly and left the classroom before Anela could respond.
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