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Time Stood Still

Yesterday started off like any normal day.

It was Friday.

It was payday.

The kids were in a good mood, and my first two class periods went swimmingly well.

I got a lot accomplished during my planning period and made my way to the library where my next two classes would be putting the finishing touches on the essays they’d been working on for the past month.

As my students walked in, I noticed that one of my girls was crying.  One of her friends asked if she could take her to the bathroom.

Of course I said yes.

Then, I saw another young lady break down in tears…and then a young man.

Something was very wrong.

It was at that time when one of my students told me that a fellow student had just passed away.

There was, except for the sounds of crying, silence.

The young man who had died had been very sick for two or three weeks.  He’d been hospitalized for most of that time.

I quickly abandoned my lesson plans, told my kids that their papers would not be due until some time next week, and made myself available to console them.

A few students coped with their sadness by working on the computers.

Most, though, congregated in small groups.

It was awful to see them hurting so badly.

At some point, our principal’s voice came over the PA system.  He announced what those of us in the media center already knew.

Many at school had not heard the news yet, though.

Time stood still.

The media specialist and I comforted one another.

Hugs were plentiful.

The bell rang, and I made my way to my classroom, crossing the courtyard where students eat lunch together.

There were dozens of kids walking around in shock.

So many were in tears.

Sigh.

I tended to a few things at my desk and then made my way back toward the library to get ready for 5th period.

As I started to cross the courtyard again, I stopped.

Something was happening out there, but it took me a minute or two to figure out what it was.

Students had formed a very, very large circle, joined together by clasped hands.

Intermingled were teachers, guidance counselors, local pastors, and even the school’s resource officer.

I grabbed the hands of the two young men beside me.

Nobody said anything.

Time stood still.

Then, a man stood in the center of the circle.  I assumed he was a pastor.

We bowed our heads and listened as the man prayed for the family of the young man who had passed away.

He prayed for the students and the school.

He prayed that we would see God’s plan in allowing this to happen.

At a time of the day when the courtyard is usually filled with yelling and other sounds of students blowing off steam between classes, there was silence

Time stood still.

I looked at the faces of those around me and was struck by the love that united us all.

My school is a melting pot of races and cultures.

We come from so many different backgrounds…such a diverse group.

Today, we were drawn together by love and respect for a young man whom everyone thought so much of.

I remember when we lost one of my students two years ago from a similar illness.

How well I know the difficult days that lie ahead.

Please pray for us.  Even though I didn’t know this young man personally, I want to be sensitive to my students as they navigate through the grieving process.

Please pray for staff who are grieving as hard as the students.

Most of all, please pray for his family.

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One Response

  1. Oh my heart breaks for all of you – praying!!!!

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