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I've been an educator since 1995 where I've served as both a teacher and administrator. I believe that serving others is the key to success and make it my goal to be a servant leader for students, teachers, parents, and the community. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Hidden talents

The text came in about 2:30 in the afternoon while I was getting ready for car duty.  "Mrs. ______ called and needs someone to come mow their lawn. Since you are on call this week, can you do it?"  "Sure," I said.  It was only the second time I had ever received a request while on call as a deacon, and although I didn't recognize the name, was thankful for the opportunity to serve.  When I got home, I loaded my mower and weed whacker in the truck and, using Google Maps, easily found the house. The husband met me at the door. I knew who he was as we had talked at church, but I had not spent a lot of time getting to know him.  He told me that the lawn was getting too hard for him to mow and his grandson, who usually does it, was off at college.  His wife invited me in. We talked briefly before I set out to tackle the task at hand.  Due to recent rains and wet ground, it took me about an hour to finish the small yard.  

When I was done, I knocked on the door to let them know.  Again, they invited me in and asked me to sit at the table and talk a while.  After accepting their offer of a Coke, we chatted about their grandchildren and great grandchildren (almost 30 of them combined) and when they discovered I was an educator, we discussed school and the wonders of children.  After a few minutes, the husband said, "I'd like to ask you a question?" "OK."  "Can we sing for you?" It took me a second to process what he had said.  "I'd be honored," I finally replied, not knowing what to expect.  The husband left the room and returned with a guitar.  After tuning it, they began to sing in perfect harmony, looking into each other's eyes the entire time.  They serenaded me with "Wine into Water" and "Seven Spanish Angels."  My eyes almost filled with tears as I watched this couple, both in their 80's, give a gift with me that money could not buy. They shared their talents.  

Afterwards, I asked the wife if she had been singing all her life.  "No," she said.  "People used to tell me I couldn't sing and I believed them."  They were wrong and I'm thankful she finally figured that out.  

As I was driving home, I thought about the kids that I work with every day.  How many have talents and abilities that I know nothing about?  Do they feel safe enough with me to share those hidden talents when the opportunity arises?  When they do, will I respond in a way that builds them up and causes them to want to share with others?  

I was blessed that afternoon with a new perspective on people.  Now, as I see kids and teachers in the hallway, I often wonder, "what is their hidden talent?" Hopefully, I will get to find out one day.