Miss Shipley was my Grade 5 teacher. It’s interesting that over all the years of education and the number of teachers I’ve had, she is the one, hands down, who stands out. Miss Shipley had a particular caring heart for all her students.
One day she invited us to dream about what we would become when we grew up. I put down a medical missionary, having just read a biography of Albert Schweitzer. For each one of us she made a card that had a picture (mine was a motorcycle for all my travels) and a note of encouragement.
Since that time, she has kept in touch with my mother to find out what has become of me. She has followed my journey of marriage, seminary, children and even grandchildren.
God, through Ezekiel, relays an image that is quite striking: the becoming of a noble vine. Through the production line of good soil, plentiful water, sprouting branches and blossoming fruit comes the noble vine. Perhaps we can reflect upon some of the same shaping of our own lives by the grace of God in this whole, holy journey of becoming. And perhaps we can take the time to remember those who have encouraged us along the way.
Thank you, God, for guiding me through this journey of becoming. Amen. — LW