Monday, October 12, 2009

The Ever-Increasing Flock

I couldn't believe my eyes.   On the church program yesterday, there was his name.  It had to be him.  How many names in the church could there be like his?  Not many, for sure, since his dad was a Dutch immigrant.  You've seen the Dutch names.  But anyway,  there he was in my nephew's ward.  We were visiting Craig and Lee-Ann since they were blessing their baby.

I taught this guy about fifteen years ago at Brighton High School in an LDS Seminary class.  Let me hasten to say I really did like him.  He was funny, for one thing, which always wins points with me.  But he did have ear piercings that you could see daylight through like the one to the right only not quite so huge.  And if you know what a "straight-edge" is, he was one of those.

The other kids really liked him too, I think, but they did cut him a wide berth since he was a little scary to them.

But there he was in church, with his cute wife and two little sons, saying the closing prayer, and looking smaller than I remember, I might add.  I hustled over to talk to him after the meeting and asked if he remembered me, and he did, though he said that was surprising since he didn't remember that many people from back then.  He was totally charming, too.

But I wasn't surprised to see him there.  I've seen it enough times before.  The first times were from my own high school days when kids, as goofy in their own ways as he was in his, turned things around and went on missions for the church and turned out to be great parents, adults and Sunday-go-to-meeting-Mormons.

But as a teacher, many former students were kind of disappointed when I was not too terribly surprised they turned out to be decent people too.  But it really happens far more often than it doesn't.  Sure, there are those poor souls who spend a lot of their lives wandering about aimlessly, or worse.

But most turn out to be quite commendable folks.  And I suspect that even those who do appear to be in trouble at any given time are still not dead, and it's not over till it's over.  The Good Shepherd does not lose his sheep and they were his long before they were ours.

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