You shall not fear the terror of the night
nor the arrow that flies by day.
I’ve written about Lee before. A recent post by one of Lee’s classmates brought this lovable student to mind. I couldn’t resist Lee’s smile back then, nor can I today…
When I taught, I prided myself in exhibiting calm in the face of misbehavior. My students apparently appreciated this effort as indicated by their subsequent compliance. Still, I admit that my anger got the best of me the morning I heard that Lee had died. The sting of his loss remains.
Though he had a very kind heart, Lee had been taken in by the allure of the streets like some of his older siblings. This time, Lee drove a van which his friends loaded with bicycles they stole along the way. A police chase resulted in the accident which took Lee’s life. At school the following morning, I heard one of Lee’s classmates bragging that he’d been in the van during that chase and that he ran away when the van tipped on its side. Before he could continue, I interrupted his lie. “Who do you think you are?” I wailed. “Lee died last night and you were nowhere near that van. Don’t you dare try to make yourself look cool because of Lee’s death!”
I didn’t realize the power of my words. Suddenly, one could literally hear a pin drop in the once noisy hallway. While the target of my ire crept into his classroom with his eyes cast to the floor, others who knew Lee stopped to share their sadness over the friend we’d all lost. Their kindness returned some semblance of peace to our never-to-be-the-same world.
So many equally heartbreaking events have threatened over the past several months. Some were the results of wrongdoing as in Lee’s case and some simply happened. Though what used-to-be may be unsalvageable in many cases, what can be always rests in our hands. It’s up to us to find the peace to move beyond it all.
Dear God, Lee rests in your everlasting peace, I know. Be with us as we work to bring a hint of that peace to one another and to our world.
©2020 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved