Mrs. Anderson

Last week while walking through the Oaks Academy at the speed of Jaden (see earlier post by same name), the pre-kindergarten teacher stopped to ask if Jaden would be in her class next year. I told her how he would have been in pre-k this year, had we sent him to the Oaks. However, we decided to keep him at the preschool he had been attending for the last several years. (A. It’s a heckova lot cheaper, B. It’s only 2 and 1/2 days versus 5 full days away from Mom…. and he’s my baaaaaby.)

She said she understood, but that she would have loved to have one of our children in her class because she loves us and enjoys watching our family. Wow. This from a woman I’m not even sure knows my name.  I told her how I lament that we have never put our boys in her classroom after hearing all the wonderful things from parents over the years.

What I didn’t tell her was that some of my darkest days were made brighter by attending the Friday morning pre-k/kindergarten worship gatherings she would lead. I didn’t tell her that I can see the joy flowing from her heart as she leads dozens of 4-, 5- and 6-year-olds in praise songs. I didn’t tell her that her joy is so contagious that when I walk out of the room after those 30 minutes my heart has been touched beyond anything I can describe. I didn’t tell her  that she is one of the reasons I adore this school, because being around her I know my children are with adults who love them and want to show them the love of Jesus, too. I didn’t tell her how I can see Jesus in her — in a way that draws all types of people to her and thus closer to Jesus.

 In the 5, maybe 10, minutes we spend chatting in the hall, she asks about my husband. It’s not the usual, “How’s Bret doing?” Instead she tells me how she has witnessed his perseverence as he struggles up the stairs to the boys’ classrooms. She wants to know not about his physical ability, but about his spirit. How is his spirit? How is really doing under that skin of his?

I learn of her own husband’s illness and how he is waiting for a kidney transplant. We relate to one another on the emotional ups and downs of having a chronically ill spouse. How hard it is at times to be joyful when they are depressed. How hard it is to not have their help when they can’t do something we want. How hard it is to get out of the pity party sometimes.

Then she tells me how funny she feels praying for a kidney because she knows someone else has to die for her husband to live. So she has stopped praying for a kidney. She still wants the kidney. Still wants her husband’s health to improve. But she knows it will come when God wants it to come. So now she prays that God will help her to wait on Him. “Now I pray that I can wait on the Lord,” she says.

That’s so great, I say. So great. It’s as if I’ve never heard the phrase before. Maybe because lately I’ve gotten to a point where I fluctuate between acceptance of the MS and the kick, scream, demand prayers I utter. Wait on the Lord. Wait. I toss it around my brain. Chew on it. Let it settle in.

As we hugged goodbye, I wondered again if she even knew my name. But it doesn’t matter because like she said as we parted: this was a blessing, this meeting in the hallway. God had us meet here today for our mutual encouragement. And for me, I believe he wanted to remind me to wait. Wait for what? I have no clue, but I know He is good. And that’s enough.

These are the soul conversation to which I am addicted. Thank you, Mrs. Anderson, for the way you love – so simply and so deeply. I love you.

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