I have been a teacher now for twelve and a half years and one of the saddest things to me is children who eat alone. Yet one of the best qualities that I have observed in children is the ones that include others.
My mom was from a family of nine and she is the one that clued me in on this topic. Out of her siblings one graduated twelfth out of a class of three hundred and another was high up in Hartford Financial and there are several other success stories as well. Her younger brother had difficulty learning. It was an unintentional teacher that put Tom in the special education classes - a class that he did not really belong in yet he developed a mindset like those kids because it was the ones he was around.
The biggest lesson that I learned is that as a Christian human being you treat everyone equally. Use your strength to protect the weak not to hurt them and never let a child be alone, even if you think you are better than them.
When I came to college in Florida on my first day it was the hottest day of my life. Walking up the center side walk to the dorm was a boy wearing a three piece brown suit and carrying a brief case. I knew immediately that there were some problems. He was there to impress and dress his best. His name was Raymond. His dad said he had already been preaching and that he really did not need a lot of help with preaching just some fine tuning.
I was new and Raymond was new. Back then I had a decent Chevrolet Camaro and I would ask Raymond if he would like to ride with me. I remember looking over at him while we were driving to the beach were some of the other college students were at and he was the proudest kid in Florida.
On Freshmen Talent night he told “Boudreaux and Thibodeaux” jokes – some Louisiana humor and he literally had people falling out of their seats with is demeanor. We would be in organizational meetings – 30-40 people in a room and we had the door closed. Rather than trying to sneak in the back Raymond knocked on the door. Everyone stopped, turned and looked. There Raymond stood, filling up the doorway, “I’m here!!”
While Raymond was at school he struggled. He struggled academically, socially, getting to classes on time, keeping up with his laundry and even his self-care.
I remember praying one time in my room after Raymond had left, “Lord what is your plan for Raymond?”
Raymond did not come back to school one year. He began working a job near his home. On his way to work one day he fell asleep and drove in front of a semi and died - such a sad ending. The one thing I was happy about was my treatment of Raymond while he was a live. Even though I knew he struggled I never took advantage of his weaknesses.
A book that has had the greatest impact on my life was “A man Called Norman”. It was a bout a preacher who moved next door to a social misfit. The preacher went out of his way befriended him and later Norman got saved.
If you have read this far – guess what Raymond’s last name was?
Norman – Raymond Norman
Written By: Scott Blackmon