There is a dear older woman in our ward who is my teenaged son's Sunday School teacher, as she was my teenaged daughter's before. She has a gift for loving that I have rarely seen in this world, and she loves my boy, as she loves my girl. She has become my partner, even my teacher, in loving him. How grateful I am for her. I can scarcely see her each week in church without tearing up with my gratitude. Her name is Dianne.
Dianne takes teaching 12 and 13 year olds to a new level. She learns about each child. She prays for each child--this I know for sure. She has called me, on occasion, with concern for my boy. My boy who is trying so hard to reach for manhood with arms just a bit too short. She wants to help him. (I want the help! I need the help!) She sees such goodness and strength in him despite his antics for attention at times. We devised a plan, almost by accident, if it weren't for the inspiration.
One day when my boy came home from school, I told him that he had a job! Dianne wanted to employ him to work for her once or twice each week, to do things around the house that have become difficult for her since she broke her hip. He would be paid handsomely, which is something he has been longing for, and he would start that very weekend.
And so it has gone, each Friday, or Saturday, for just a few hours, my son goes to Dianne's house and works for her. He vacuums--even walls and ceilings. He hung Christmas lights and decorations. He hauls things for her--whatever she might need. Once, he had been sick and missed Church, so when he was there (on her dime!) she had him sit in a chair and look up the scriptures that he'd missed in class. She made sure he got his lesson. Each week she tells him stories of her life, things that she's learned, things she wishes for him to learn. And each week when I pick him up, he comes bounding out the door with a huge grin and much more than a paycheck. I mean, of course, being grandmotherly as she is, she rewards him with goodies and beef jerky (his favorite). But he also comes home filled to the brim with love. The love that she's poured into him as he works for her. The love that has grown within him as he serves.
The first time I picked him up, he got into the car so full of light and happiness and said to me, "I know I was getting paid, but it just felt so good to know I was helping her!"
He even told her he likes classical music, when she offered to turn it off for his sake.
I feel hopeful.
(part two of this story tomorrow!)