posted on Friday, January 13, 2012
I find it so amazing how God seems to find a way to time things perfectly. After going a couple of months without blogging (my apologies), and lacking inspiration, I bumped into a person yesterday that gave me inspiration for the perfect post to start off a new year.
Yesterday, I went over to the middle school to help a former teacher of mine check papers. I wasn’t even to my first paper when I got a call from my mom. She said that a young man approached her holding up a copy of, “The Sacred Acre: The Ed Thomas Story.” He asked her if she could help him find some of the landmarks that were brought up in the book. My mom was of course happy to do it, but called me because I work for the Ed Thomas Family Foundation. I told her I would be thrilled to show him around, and so I took the pile of papers and drove back to Parkersburg.
I drove to the cemetery, where a young man named Kyle, was waiting for me. He had stopped there to see where Coach was buried. Kyle was originally born in India. As a child, he was adopted to a family in the United States, and unfortunately for him, his adoptive family was very abusive. He stayed in that home until he was 16-years-old, when the Department of Human Services came and took him out of the home. After being taken from his adoptive parents, he was put into a group home. Kyle told me that he grew up Catholic. After he was put in the group home, he stopped going to church. One day he was visiting with the social worker that had been handling his case from the beginning. She told him that she was sad that he had stopped going to church and that he should try it out again. So after that, he went back to the group home and got out several encyclopedias and started researching every religion possible. Kyle knew God was real and said he kept praying to him and asking for his guidance.
After meeting Kyle for the first time, I had him follow me up to the high school. For me, showing him around was a little difficult because I have been used to the old school. I was the last senior class to graduate from the old high school, a week before the tornado destroyed it. The school now seems so big to me and I get a little bit confused on where everything is because I haven’t been in there that much. But, I knew God was guiding me. Kyle was amazed by the school and had plenty of questions to ask me. Coach Thomas meant a lot to me and was a great influence in my life, so I felt blessed to be able to share my experiences with him.
I took Kyle to the new gym, where my fiance, Alex Pollock, was running some drills with some student athletes. I introduced Kyle to the new Head Football Coach, and explained that Alex had been on the state championship team back in 2001. I got to show him some pictures that were up in the old school and took him down to the weight room. He was pretty impressed. Next, I took him to the football field. I let him walk inside the track and let him touch the artificial turf that marks where the players and coaches stand during games. After a few more rounds around the school, we concluded our tour with a nice conversation about what he thought about Coach Thomas and the book.
You have to remember, Kyle never knew Coach Thomas. He was given the book by his boss, who thought the book would be a great read for him. He was handed this book at the perfect time, because he was in need of some encouragement. For Kyle, it was amazing to read about a man who was like a father-figure to lots, because Kyle did not have that growing up. The biggest thing that stood out to him was how Coach led by example, and said he wants to be just like Coach Thomas and have an influence on others by doing things the right way, and by loving God and others.
Living in Parkersburg, I never realized that people might actually want to come to our town to visit. After all, I have lived here my whole life and didn’t think there was that much to look at. Meeting Kyle was such a neat experience. It reminded me of how precious the gift of life is, and how thankful I should be that I have a loving family and community that has continued to support me. God has perfect timing. He knows when people are in need. I think I needed Kyle that day, just as much as he needed me. I was reminded of how awesome of a place I live in. God, sometimes I am so unsure of what you are trying to do, but you always find a way to show me.