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Remember When

The Ultimate School Reunion


“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been,” author Madeleine L’Engle once said. At my 10-year high school reunion recently, I learned how true that is. I discovered that all of the “me’s” are still there—including the 10-years-ago me.

As I talked to old friends, the 10-years-ago me came back in full force. I remembered the dreams I had, the things I longed for, who I wanted to become, and how it felt to want those things and dream those dreams.

As I made my way through my classmates, I got a glimpse of my swim team buddy Andrea. As I saw her, memories rushed back . . . how every week in high school she used to invite me to the Christian clubs that she was involved in. How she’d leave Scripture verses in my locker on little red pieces of paper. How I loved that she left Scripture in my locker—how it felt so right and true, even though I didn’t understand what the verses meant. How they sparked my heart.

Once I got to Andrea, I gave her a huge hug and met the husband she married a year ago. I spent some time trying to paint a picture of the 10-years-ago Andrea since he didn’t know her then. I explained to him about her weekly invitations and the little red pieces of truth she’d leave in my locker. As I tried to put words to her actions, I realized the significance of them, and I started to cry.

“I wasn’t a Christian,” I choked out.

“I know,” she said. “I knew you weren’t.”

“You were the first person I can remember who shared any Scripture with me”—sniff, sniff—“I still have them. Thank you so much.”

I caught the two of them up on my story, including my ministry as editor of a Christian youth magazine. I shared not to brag, but to help them see how significant her gestures were. The verses she wrote out for me were my first close look at the Bible—my first glimpse of the God and the Word I love so much today.

I wonder if heaven will be a little bit like a high school reunion. I suspect that maybe heaven will include getting reconnected with people who have influenced your life, looking back together and seeing how providentially God has authored everything. I hope so, even if just for the opportunity to say: “Thank you for what you did in my life. Do you see how you helped me see God? I am so thankful.”

In reality, what Andrea did for me is exactly what we’re called to do here. God’s Word says that, on average, He has given each person 80 or so years on earth, which is nothing when compared to the foreverness of eternity. Yet our short days here influence what our eternities will be like. So somehow, when God ordains that our paths cross with people, for however long those people are in our lives—whether four years of high school, four decades of friendship, or four minutes in a grocery store line—that time is precious.

We have a chance to influence an eternal creature. In that time we can spur them on, point them to things eternal, and give them a glimpse of God. And maybe one day, we’ll be in heaven reminiscing, and as praise to the God who authored it all, we’ll have a chance to say our thank-yous to the people that helped us see home. If that’s the case, my first thank you—one of many—just happened to be on this side of heaven.


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