By Pastor Eddie Cabrera, Seventh-Day Adventist Church
A school principal related this story to an assembly of teachers:
“The previous year we had an eighth-grade student in the school whose situation brought much grief to the school community. Suddenly and for no apparent reason, this thirteen-year-old boy had started coming to school one hour late every day. I couldn’t get this boy to come to school on time. First, I sent notes to his parents. He would bring the note back the next day signed by his parents–an hour late.
“Next I disciplined the young man. The next day he showed up at school–an hour late. No matter what disciplinary method the school administrators tried, the following day the boy would still come an hour late. Finally, we suspended him for a few days. His first day back at school he walked in–an hour late.
“I just couldn’t take it anymore, so the next day I contacted the department of welfare. The welfare agents accompanied me to the boy’s home. We walked up to the front door and knocked. No one answered. I turned the doorknob. It was open, so we walked in, and what we found wasn’t very pretty. We were to discover that two months earlier, while he was at school, the boy’s parents had left home. They had left a large supply of groceries in the cupboards and refrigerator, but they themselves were gone. The boy had no idea where they were.
“He felt abandoned and betrayed, ashamed to tell the story to the school authorities. So, every day he would get his eight-year-old sister and six-year-old brother out of bed, bathe and dress them for school, and then walk them to their elementary school two miles away. Try as he might, he could never run fast enough to get to his own school earlier than one hour late.” Cries of the Heart, Ravi Zacharias, p 137-138.
The problem is that we are quick to judge and slow to ask why.