Friday night was the closing program for VBS. As I pulled into the church parking lot, right on time, exactly 7:00, I realized that I had forgotten the platter of sliced watermelon in my refrigerator at home. I parked and took a walk through the kitchen and realized that there was not enough food for the amount of people expected. I knew I needed to drive back home, at least a 12 minute drive one way. Thankfully, God did not keep me in my "being upset with myself" mode too long. He reminded me that I really had not even prayed for the evening program and the parents that would be hearing a very short gospel message. What a delightful time of prayer I had traveling back to my house and then back to the church all over a forgotten platter of watermelon.
Funny how God works things out for His divine plan, even the extra time going home for that platter of fruit. If I would have gone into the church the first time I was there and sat down, I would have sat on my usual side, closer up to the front and possibly may not have even seen someone that I needed to see there. But because I went home, I did not sit on my usual side but the other side, on the edge of the row on the outside, I saw one of my students that was in one of my PE classes this past year. In all my years of teaching, I have never had a more difficult student than this young lady. It was a common occurrence for her to chew and cuss me out. She was so angry and upset in the plot she was in life. She did not care about school or at least PE and was only there for the few friends she had. The office and the VP's knew her well too, she was in so many fights during the year and many teachers wrote her up for her defiance and rudeness. In talking with her (and foster mom's -yes a few of them, her mother and social worker) over the course of the year, I saw she had a horrible life and she made it out to be even worse. I prayed so many prayers for her and tried to share with her that I cared, wanted to listen and that I was praying for her. Towards the end of the year, when we were able to talk without her yelling and screaming at me, I found out that she was living in a shelter with her mom.
I walked in almost a half hour late, trying to not draw attention to myself,and there she sat in the very last seat of the church, closest to the door for an easy escape. Our eyes connected and I walked by "like no big deal" and said hi to her by name. She said hello back and as I walked by, I heard her say after I passed to the person next to her, "that's was my PE teacher last year". After the program, I saw her mother sitting right behind me and I introduced myself and she remembered who I was instantly. She thanked me many times for all the hard work I had done with her daughter, she shared some of what she was going through and I told her that I had been praying for her daughter all last year and even sitting in my seat that night since seeing her daughter. She hugged and thanked me with tears in her eyes. After we talked for a long while, I went out to find my student. I found her sitting with some of the older young women (who were mommies to babies) and we chatted for a little bit. She was shocked that I went to church, the church that she was at right then and there for a VBS closing program. We did not have the best conversation but we did converse and I shared with her again that I would be praying for her and that God could help with her situation and attitude of heart. At work, I can share some of those things but I am so guarded because of the possible trouble I could get myself in but it was all different being away from work and at church where her family had brought her and her younger siblings.
Funny how God works, and to think it was all because I forgot a plate of watermelon.