Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Really Nice Present

When the phone rings on Christmas day, it’s either relatives or bad news. 

A few minutes ago, I answered the phone to hear the voice of my student who tried to kill himself back in the fall.  The semester is over and I wasn’t sure I would ever hear from him again.  I took a quick moment to gather myself in order to talk him through another crisis. Or maybe he was in the hospital this time….

“Professor?” he said, “I just called to wish you a merry Christmas.”

“Thank you,” I said. He sounded pretty good. “How are you doing?”

“Actually, I’m doing pretty great,” he said. 

“Really? Hey, that’s terrific! What have you been doing for this holiday?”

He has a woman in his life and they’d been out playing—I don’t think he has done much of that in his young life.  They had been out driving all night, stopping in at truck stops (they were the only places open) to eat.

“We had waffles at 3:30 this morning,” he said. He speaks in a low voice, but he was obviously in a good mood.” 

“Yeah,” he continued, “So, I just wanted to say thanks for all your help.”

“You’re welcome,” I said. “I’m proud of you.”

I’ll tell you the truth. I’m very tired from the holidays and all I want for Christmas right now is a nap.  But when I get up, I suspect that my favorite moment will be this phone call.   


  1. I can't imagine anything in my line of work, that could match that feeling. Knowing that God is truly working through you. I often pray St. Francis's prayer and ask God to use me, to work through me - but I very rarely feel that I am.
    It must feed your soul, my friend, to know that you have contributed to someone experiencing life, falling in love, recovering from crippling depression or just taking their next breath....what could be more personally rewarding?
    God bless you.


    1. Thank you, Lynne. People rarely recover this quickly. Hopefully he's young enough to grow past the things that led him to such a crisis last semester. I'm interested in how he will act the next time he finds himself in a dark place. But I'm very happy that he's happy now.