Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Is There A God?

While teaching 8th grade Resource Language Arts, I had a student named Keith whose attitude and behavior and physical appearance was getting worse and worse. He even started using his pen to mark satanic symbols on his body. Finally one day I asked him if he really believed in the Devil. He indicated that he certainly did. My reply was that if there was a devil, then didn't it naturally follow that their was a God.

The next day, I brought a paperback copy of 'Life After Life" and put it on his desk. I told him that I'd give him an 'A' every day if he'd sit with that on his desk and behave himself & that he didn't have to do the classwork / just sit quietly without napping. He did so for a number of days without opening the book, but boredom and perhaps curiosity finally prompted him to open it and have a look. Quick peeks were followed by short bursts of reading as the days marched on. Finally, when he had received enough 'A's and he was drawn into the true stories of NDE experiences, he began reading in earnest. He finished the book. Meanwhile he's stopped renewing satanic symbols and began keeping his appearance up. One day he simply gave me back the book and went to work on the class English assignment.

But that's not the end of the story. Years later, while I was teaching at a different school, I was walking in the school courtyard and noticed a TV camera crew entering to set up for a camera shoot. Suddenly a young man put down his load and hurried to see me while calling my name. It was Keith. He was hale and hearty. And after a quick conversation he rushed back to retrieve his load so the crew could proceed.

Yeah! He'd made it.

Leave My Drinkin' Alone!

My father was a psychiatric social worker working with MHMR's Alcoholic Treatment Program. There was an alcoholic who said one day, after a group session,"You can treat my alcoholism all you want to; but, Damn it! you leave my drinkin' alone!".

The Doctors Said...

My friend and I were on vacation.  We'd just arrived after midnight and pulled into a bowling alley in Hayward, Wisconsin.  We'd just barely sat down at the bar when an older guy came down and sat next to us.  I figured he was going to hit us up for a drink -- but instead, he ordered up a shot of whiskey for himself and determinedly slapped his money down on the counter.  He ruefully looked at us and told us that he'd just got out of the hospital for a bleeding ulcer / and that the doctors told him that if he had even just a single drink that it'd kill him.  When the bartender sat the drink down in front of him, he carefully picked it up and carefully studied it for a moment.  Then he suddenly tipped his head back and quickly downed it.

We didn't know what to think.  Then, about thirty seconds later, the fellow tugged on my friend's sleeve and said, "Can you give me a ride to the hospital?"  He did. That morning, the alcoholic was soon dead.