Three years ago today it all came crashing down. A teacher I once knew well—and whom shall remain anonymous—had had it with life. He had been dealing with lower back problems for nearly two years, he was drowning in the early stages of fatherhood, and his marriage was hanging by a thread. He loathed his job as an educator as a group of unruly kids seemed to make his life miserable. He was haunted by sleepless nights where he lay in bed listening to the 2:00 am train, wondering if he should just go find it to end it all. It got to the point where he was sitting in his classroom near the end of his team plan hour, and he just couldn’t take it anymore. He slipped out the front door of the school, got in his car, and drove to the drug store down the street to pick up his prescription.
The store clerk had no clue she was handing him his death sentence. He drove off to a remote location miles away from his school and downed the chalky pills with a couple swigs of water. And then he waited. Guilt overwhelmed him enough to snag the drug store sack and begin scribbling a goodbye note to his wife, but the wooziness began to set in. He tried finding a comfortable place in the seat to drift off to sleep. Forever. Meanwhile, back at his school, the infamous 5th hour class that had driven him batty many a time was without a teacher. Who knows how much time passed before a kid left to find an adult. It was suddenly a race against time. Calls were made, and nothing was found. When there was no doubt the teacher was missing, they sent out the SRO on a blind search to find him.
What ensued was a miracle. The teacher, streaming in and out of consciousness, doesn’t recall more than a vision or blur of a man in blue yanking open the door to rescue him. He was rushed to the hospital and put immediately in the care of a team of doctors that did all they could to save this man. Though Satan had done everything to eradicate his life, it was more than obvious that God was not through with him yet. Life was breathed back into him. He recovered in a hospital for about a week and took the remainder of the school year off. That summer was used for recovery, and God was waiting for him with open arms. A healing process that is truly still happening at this very moment began to soothe his lost soul, and he made a clear cut decision in June to choose God. Baptized not long after, that man turned his life fully to Christ and hasn’t looked back yet.
This story has a happy ending; however, there is one thing that devastates me about it … this man never felt comfortable talking to anyone about his problems. I wonder what would have happened had he built a relationship with a prayer group at his school prior to his troubles. Would any of this have happened? Would he have confided in someone before doing the unthinkable? Who would have reached out to him? This man felt as if his burdens were only his to carry, but what would have happened if a group of Christian teachers injected hope in him? The story certainly might have a different ending. The story of this man is a vivid reminder of the importance of building positive relationships at work, not to mention praying for one another.
What would you do if you knew this man? My guess is that you’d talk some since into him. Love on him. Let him know that life is sweeter than he ever imagined. None of this happened for him because he knew nothing of a prayer group at his school. If you are a Christian teacher without a prayer group in your school, what is holding you back from organizing one? I cannot count the priceless moments spent together over the last few years in prayer group at our school, and I wouldn’t start my Friday morning any other way. Would you let me guide you in doing this? Reach out to me. Ask anything you’d like, and I will help in any way possible. Think of the amount of lives you might have the chance of changing for the better. You could be the game-changer in someone else’s life. Take the summer to prepare your ideas, and launch your school’s prayer group in the fall. God would certainly approve.
After writing this blog this morning, I was preparing to leave for work when Jason Gray’s song “It’s Good to be Alive” came on. If you haven’t heard it, check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd0qwTXw0nM. I shared it with that teacher above, and you had better believe it brightened his day. If you have another song or scritpure you’d like to share with him, feel free to e-mail it to me and I will make sure that he sees it.