God has a way of using the most innocuous people, if we let Him. When I began teaching English in August of 1988, there was a (I think) fifteen year-old sitting front and center, grinning from ear to ear. When I look back at that first year, I don't remember much except the students, and he was a card, as the idiom goes. He was constantly cracking jokes and was the life of the class. I loved that group that encompassed Nichole, Chris, Shedrick, Scott.... They were smart, smart kids, and as a first-year teacher, they fueled my passion for teaching high school English at a poor, rural school in Colleton County, Ruffin High School. I would stay at that first stop on the teaching circuit for eight years. Through the subsequent years I would make my way to schools in Walterboro and Beaufort.
Flash forward to 2011 (again, I think) and a funeral held in the gym of that first school. Whom did I spy across the floor but that student. What memories flooded back as I hurried down to hug and speak to him. He was the same, yet he was a grown man with a family of his own. His face had not changed a bit. We subsequently became friends on facebook, and what a blessing he has become to me! God has sent him as an encourager in dark times. Just when I am feeling spiritually low, I get a phone call or text message from Him. He is allowing God to use him to minister to his little ol' high school English teacher of so very many years ago. It is awesome how God uses people from our past to minister to us. He makes and flourishes those connections.