Emory United Methodist Church   •   456 N. Texas Street, Emory, TX  75440    |    903.473.2411
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Pastor's Note
From the desk of Rev. Danny Barrett

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Tales from the Pulpit!

I have been reading lately about responding. Look at the responses that have happened during the Hurricanes and tornados that people have experienced. I am wondering why the response is always during catastrophic events? Why can we have responses to really good events? We will be dwelling off in how we respond in the next few weeks. But I want to share a brief story about how responding matters. So enjoy!

Signs that point to life:

Several years ago, a schoolteacher, who served on special assignment with children confined in a large city hospital, received a routine call requesting that she visit a particular child who had been admitted and would require a long stay. She took the boy's name and room number (409) and was told by the boy's regular teacher, "We're studying nouns and adverbs now. This boy needs help so he will not fall behind."

It wasn't until the visiting teacher reached the boy's room that she realized it was located in the hospital's burn unit. No one had prepared her to confront a boy who had been horribly burned over much of his body and who was in great pain. She wanted to turn on her heel and walk out, but she stammered, "I'm the hospital teacher, and your regular teacher asked me to help you with nouns and adverbs."

Because of his condition, the boy could barely respond. The teacher stumbled through the grammar lesson, but felt guilty for asking the boy questions or trying to correct him. The next morning, however, this teacher ran into a nurse on the burn unit who asked her, " “What did you do to that boy in 409 yesterday? The teacher started to apologize, but the nurse interrupted: "You don't understand. We've been concerned about him. But ever since you were with him yesterday, his whole attitude has changed. He's fighting back, responding to treatment, like he wants to live."

The boy himself later explained with tears rimming his eyes, "I had given up. At the lowest moment, the teacher came into my room. I suddenly realized that they wouldn't send a teacher to work on nouns and adverbs with a dying boy, would they? I decided I wanted to get well, if they thought I could. So I prayed, asking God to help me want to live. And here I am."

The signs all around us may point to death and destruction, but God wants us to keep working on our nouns and adverbs. There's a lot of life yet to live, and work to be done.
-With thanks to Wesley Taylor, Tigard, Oregon.

Be Blessed
Danny B