She Won’t

Na-ta-lia!

I hear her trill before I see her, and I catch her eye, mirror her wide grin, as she hurries toward our front row chapel seats.

She collapses into the seat next to me, tiny tendrils of hair next to her ears blowing in the breeze she’s created with her quick movement, her sudden descent to the red velvet seat besides my own.

I didn’t realize you were leaving so soon! She exclaims, dark eyes shining in earnest emotion. These are your last two weeks! And I nod, eyebrows raised in disbelieving agreement.

I want to spend time with you before you leave! She exclaims, and I nod, smile. That can be arranged, I assure her.

What advice would you give to me as you leave? What would you say to an underclassman? She asks, then, unwillingly to wait to hear what I have to say, what I’m thinking about as my time left at Moody dwindles to mere days.

I have to think for just a moment, my eyes wandering almost unseeing over the shoes of the tens of students who filter into, across, the scuffed chapel floor.

Then…

I’m telling her about Systematic Theology; last year’s fall semester spent dragging myself out of bed at 7am four mornings a week, sitting under instruction of heart and of mind, instruction that I have come to believe saved my faith, in many ways.

Relish that class, I tell her. Relish that opportunity to learn about our God, about the inner workings, the heart and soul, of our faith.

But that’s not enough to say.

I’m just coming to realize, I tell her, what a gift this school is.

There are hundreds of other schools, wonderful schools where people learn engineering, business, art. They learn what to do and what to say, and they learn their trade well. But here? Here at this school? We are learning truths that stretch beyond time, about the God who created time. We are given the tools, we are equipped, to make connections across materials and across classes, and the integration of what we are learning creates a grid of knowledge that reaches to the heart and changes the lives of learners. The things we learn at this school are practical and theological, and unlike any other school.

That. That is what I would say. And she nods, almost reverent, as the last chapel late comers stride swiftly across the open floor before us.

Don’t undervalue all of that, I tell her.

And somehow, I know she won’t.

~Natalia

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Grandma S.
    Dec 04, 2014 @ 10:53:12

    As always, very well put, Natalie.

    Reply

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