This Friday night we experienced something that was a first for me as a teacher, although I know many educators have experienced this heartache as well. One of our 2008 graduates of Shepherd of the Hills, and a classmate of my oldest daughter, died in a car accident. While I had not spoken with this girl or her family for quite some time, the tragedy still is very personal for me and my family.
There are many lessons that arise from tragedy -- lessons about the importance of love and family, reminders about the fragility of life, and reminders of the potential magnitude of every interaction and decision. The most significant reminder, of course, is that faith in Jesus is essential for when each of us reaches the point of death -- a point that may come suddenly at any time. It is for that reason I am thankful that this girl, as well as my own children, have attended Lutheran schools.
Will attendance at Lutheran school guarantee safe passage to eternal life through faith? Of course not. Satan continues to turn our sinful world away from God. However, this death is a reminder for me of why I want my children attending Lutheran schools, both Lutheran High School and Shepherd of the Hills. I want my children to hear about Jesus EVERY DAY in personal ways. I want my children to have EVERY opportunity for the Holy Spirit to work faith in their lives. In other words, I want my children to know as fully and completely as possible the love of Jesus and the amazing riches of eternity that God has waiting for them.
There are some who believe that their children should experience the "real world" outside of a Christian education -- that they can only be prepared to face that "real world" while experiencing it as a youth. Not me. The real world exists in Lutheran schools just as much as it does in other educational settings because of the corruption of sin in this entire world, and the presence of our Savior through prayer, study, and conversations in Lutheran schools that serve to teach our children how to better love, follow, and serve Jesus, is a treasure.
I am so very thankful that my former student knew her Lord, and I am thankful for Lutheran schools, where the eternal truths about our Savior continue to be taught throughout each school day. Why wouldn't I want that for my children!