“What does hope look like?”

An elementary schoolteacher was asked by a pediatrician to go by the burn
unit of the local hospital. One of her students had been seriously burned
in a tragic house fire, and was in critical condition. While she
appreciated the invitation to visit one of her pupils, the teacher was
puzzled by a specific request from the doctor. “While you’re there”, the
doctor said, “be sure to teach him the lesson he missed today in school.”
She thought that was bizarre, but the doctor felt it would help the child,
and she was willing to do anything she could if it would help him get
As she arrived at the hospital, A nurse met her in the lobby and escorted
her to the Intensive Care Unit where the boy was being treated. The child
was wrapped in bandages with only portions of his face visible. The nurse
said he had been unresponsive since he arrived. The teacher pulled up a
chair, identified herself to the boy and then said, “Your doctor asked me
to come by and talk with you about what you missed in school today.” So she
started teaching the lesson about nouns and adverbs that she had taught to
his classmates a few hours earlier. The boy never moved, never made a sound
and gave no indication that he was even aware of what was going on around
him. After she finished the lesson, the doctor met her in the hallway and
asked her to keep coming by every day and teach the boy everything he
missed in class. So she did, feeling more and more foolish each time. After
a few weeks with no response, she reluctantly made her way back to the
hospital one afternoon still feeling like each visit was a waste of time.
As she again approached the intensive care unit, a nurse met her in the
hall. “What did you talk to the boy in room 12 about yesterday?” The
teacher stammered and said, “I know it may sound silly but I just talked
with him about nouns and adverbs. I’m his teacher and those were my
instructions from the doctor.” The nurse said, “Well whatever you said
worked wonders. Come and see.” The child was still in bandages, but his
face was animated and he was speaking. Why had a little lesson like this
changed him so much? The boy said, “I knew they wouldn’t ask my teacher to
talk to me about nouns and adverbs if they thought there was no hope.”

An anonymous author wrote “Man can live about 40 days without food, about
three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one
second without hope.” Paul said in Romans 8:24 “For in hope we have been
saved …” Thank God for the hope we have in Christ. Talk to someone you
know who needs the hope that can only be found through Jesus.

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