I have lots of acquaintances but few real friends. You know, the kinds of folks you could call from jail at 3 a.m. and they would bail you out … eventually. Or the ones you could call from the hospital in the wee hours of the morning and they would come to your bedside – most likely without changing out of their pajamas.
I am blessed with a handful of people like that in my life. Even though they offer me encouragement and the love I need to survive on a daily basis. Often they will do something so extraordinary that will just wipe me out emotionally. After it happens, the event just serves as a reminder why I love and admire them so much anyway.
Denise Webb did just that Tuesday.
As principal of two elementary schools that will be consolidated into one beautiful new school next year, Denise has a job few people could do. Much less WANT to do, honestly. The sheer responsibility of it must be overwhelming at times. Yet Denise does a phenomenal job overseeing the business of both schools which includes taking care of the students and the personnel.
She calls it just “doing her job.”
While I was at West Corinth Elementary School Tuesday morning, a child became ill in the cafeteria. Denise immediately went to his side and remained there. After they moved him to the little cot next to the principal’s office, Denise sat on the end of it and comforted the child. They talked about monster trucks and other things the little boy wanted to discuss.
Watching the tender way Denise was caring for that little boy smacked this big girl right in the heart. I literally stood there and sucked back tears. Although I’m never ashamed to cry, I was simply afraid if I started I wouldn’t stop this time. I was that touched by what I’d witnessed.
And the good feelings produced by the principal didn’t end with that act of kindness.
We went to watch drummer Nina Rodriguez give a presentation to the West first graders using small drums. Each child was given the opportunity to pick out a drum and then Nina taught them how to associate their school subjects and rhythm.
Denise noticed one child in particular was having a difficult time playing his drum. Rather than just coach him from the sidelines, Denise got on the floor with him, took his hands in hers and began showing him how to play the different rhythms on the instrument.
I was able to capture this digitally through the viewfinder of my camera while sucking back even more tears. One of the photos captures the youngster gazing at Denise with such a look of awe and admiration. It’s one of those moments that is hard to explain, for the most part, but is easily interpreted by viewing the photo.
Denise recently returned home after a weeklong mission trip to El Salvador. I never said anything to her about it, but it has been funny to me that she took a trip to do in a foreign land what she does on a daily basis here at home. But I’m very proud of her for following the Great Commission and extending her missions work.
And equally proud of her for coming back home and continuing to serve here.
On Tuesday – just as she is pretty much every day of her life – Denise Webb was the hands and feet of Jesus in the world around her. And her example made me not only admire and love her more, it made me want to be even more like the One she was representing.
The one she so boldly serves.