God-After four years of being schooled at home, the day had come for me to attend Post Elementary full time. I felt so unprepared and out of place.
On the bus would I fit in? Would I be accepted as I looked after polio?
As I stood under the tallow tree waiting on the bus to arrive, I obsessed on how different than others I was. Scoliosis. Uneven shoulders and legs. Orthopedic shoes of different heights A steel back brace. Topping it off was that football helmet Mother made me wear to protect my brain if I fell.
Suddenly, the yellow school bus driven by Bubba Willbern pulled to a stop in front of me. The way the children watched me from the windows inside the bus made me feel like an ugly creature in a fish bowl.
My brother, Charles, helped me up the steps and into the bus. Apprehensively, I looked first at the faces down the left row of seats and then to the right. Everyone turned away from me. Where would I ever find a seat?
Lord, then Your angel appeared. A girl on the sixth row on the right scooted closer to the window. She smiled at me. She patted the seat next to her and waived for me to join her.
The bus that year went to Post Elementary every day. But, with Your angel, Cheryl Hagler, sitting beside me, I always went somewhere else. In her divine way, Cheryl guided me ever closer to you with each passing day. Through her, You imparted to me the sacred lesson of the power of acceptance of the differences in others.
In her early twenties the Cheryl, who once wore that Peter Pan-collared blouse, was killed by a drunk driver near where You and the bus brought us together.
God, please help all Your children search for the angels You send them. For in finding angels whether on a bus, in church, or in a line at Starbucks we can receive the holiest of holy messages from You. That we are unconditionally loved by You.
Oh! And God, thank You for my angel, Cheryl. More importantly, at the moment of her tragic death, I thank You for giving her light-filled wings to fly into Your loving arms. I know You made room for Cheryl in Heaven just as she made a place for me next to her on the bus when I needed her most on Earth. Amen
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Jack H. Emmott is a Senior Counsel of Gray, Reed & McGraw, LLP, a 120-lawyer full service firm in Houston, Texas, a Board-Certified Family Law and Master Credentialed Collaborative Law Professional Divorce Attorney, Mediator, Author, Entrepreneur and Inspirational Speaker. For more information about Jack or his latest book, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love, go to the Bending Angel website.
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