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The Saturday Journal: And he wears a cross around his neck

I first wrote this story seven years ago--May 27, 2017. I thought it was timely to share again.

He was greeted at the door and asked to place his bag in his locker and he said in a timid voice, a voice most likely quietened all too often, ‘I have to keep my bag with me at all times.’

And he walked into the classroom and sat at his desk staring at the cold computer screen. The computer that would supposedly test his knowledge of the science world.  Give him his personal performance number along with every other child.

We can all say it’s been a hard week.  A tiring week.

Too much rain. Not enough sunshine. And end of the year school tests. 

In a few short days these school tests will be finished and they will either shout to our children, you are among the highest in intelligence or you just don’t measure up.  You have work to do. 

And he wears a cross around his neck.  This young boy with the bag.

I watch him and the other children in the classroom. Many are clothed in soiled clothes, shoes untied, designer jeans, and labels, oh the labels.

Their eyes and faces tell their story–some drowning in defeat.  Some just don’t care. Period. But perhaps it’s because they believe within their heart no one cares about them.  And then there are the students who care too much. Have they been told their success in life all depends on these sacred numbers?

There’s deafening silence in the room and I want to know each of their stories.  But maybe I don’t.  Because their stories–maybe some would be too hard to hear. Too difficult. Their eyes wander from the screen and some of them make quick eye contact with me.  They look down and move on to the next question.

And there’s this boy who wears a cross around his neck--with the bag.  Is it his lifeline or his life?

He takes his necklace off.  And on the end of the cord hangs this cross.  He twirls it around in his hand a few times, and gently places it around his neck again.

One by one they've finished their exams and they sit in small groups-- slowly letting out the stress in quiet conversation with their friends.  And the boy who wears the cross, he sits alone.  Watching.

I want to run to him. I want to tell him the one he wears the cross for sees his struggles.  I want to cry with him and reassure him that God is always a prayer away and he is not alone in his struggles.  But there's this still small voice whispering to me, he already knows of this love.  The strength of the cross--  he knows.

Outside the sun breaks through the clouds after days of rain.  And the bell rings and the boy who wears the cross, he reaches for his bag--unzips it and looks inside--making sure he hasn't forgotten anything. And he walks slowly toward the door and the cross, it's still close to his heart.  The heart of this boy that Jesus loves.


A humble and heartfelt thank you for reading The Saturday Journal.

My prayer is to share The Saturday Journal every Saturday or at least bi-weekly--

and the stories shared here in this space will bless you in some small way.

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1 comment

1 comentariu

Prayers for all the children that face tests in a few days whether they are academic or of strength and character.


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