Some of you know that Tara’s iphone was stolen at school last Wednesday. We have been praying for recovery, not only of her phone but her faith in the students.
So here’s the rest of the story. Going back to Tuesday, when she called me from school asking for prayer, not for herself, but for her students who felt their lives didn’t matter after the Baltimore situation. They were agitated and shared how hopeless they felt. She was crying for them.
On Wednesday here phone was taken during a fire drill.
On Thursday she informed her students that her phone was “lost” and if anyone “found” it please place it on her desk – no questions asked. Many of the students laughed, knowing her phone would never return. Surprisingly the “gang” kids, were upset. One young man, a boy that has challenged her all year, summed up everyone’s feelings, saying it was unfair because she never hurt anyone and she respected the students. He told her she’d get her phone back Friday morning. Other students were sharing that they might know where it was and would find out for her.
Well Friday came. Apparently someone turned her phone on and the app vaguely located it in a high-school district some miles away. No phone appeared on her desk on Friday. She had to give the serial number and location to the resource officer and police. Apparently many phones were taken that week. She activated her old flip phone and kept believing God would change hearts and deliver her phone to her.
Fast forward to Monday morning. She’s helping in another classroom when she is called into the office. The secretary, grinning, asks, “Is this your phone?” She delivered the phone into Tara’s hand. Apparently, one of the toughest students, whom all agreed was most likely to be a career criminal, not even one of Tara’s students, took it to the office and said he “found” it on the floor.
When Tara shared the story with the other teachers at lunch, they all teared up. No teacher has ever received their phone back. Later the gang member in her class asked her if the other kid returned it yet? He must have been persuasive after all.
That, my friends, is what happens when we live a life of salt and light. She didn’t preach, scold or threaten. She just kept her love on and believed the best of these children and God. There is no telling what this testimony will do for the students at teachers at school. But I know Holy Spirit touched many, including me.