When The Most Important People Disappoint Us
"On that same day the LORD told Moses, “Go up into the
- Deuteronomy 32:48-52
I've often been told Catholic school instructors are the things legends are made of. Mine certainly were that way. My junior high Social Studies/Art teacher was the stuff of legends: a nightmare incarnate, tottering close to 300 pounds, wearing black sneakers, black pantyhose, and white ankle socks with her various clothing - whether or not it matched (forget being a fashion statement). I'll never forget the day she sat in front of the class and cleaned her ears with her keys. Then there was the time that she stood up on the desk in front of all of us during an art class and told us to draw her. Making her blonde, thin, and petite would have been an impossibility, not to mention a lie - and "drawing what we saw" would probably land us detention - so it was anyone's game what to do. Above the chalkboard in her class read a sign, "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say CAN and WILL be used against you. Exercise this right!" She was a terror, played favorites (of which I was not one), and considered herself to be extremely fair. She wasn't.
My junior high Science teacher was just strange. Her whole life, identity, and very being was the Catholic Church. She was exceedingly into Marian devotions. Our Lady of Medjugorje graced her filing cabinet and she thought a fun way to start the day was by saying the Rosary. While she was a decent instructor in the area of Science, her concepts of things were sometimes strange because of her Catholic concepts. For example, abstaining from sex until marriage was equated in the minds of some students as not eating chocolate during Lent. Not to mention the fact that her Catholicism led her into territory that was unscientific, and she gave out medically inaccurate information more than once. She had a terrible marriage, had severe battles with the parish priest, and involved us in things we should have never known about.
Then there was my religion/math teacher. Her whole identity was "helping others." She considered herself to be a truly loving teacher. She wasn't. She was one of those guilt people - don't want or complain about anything, because "people are starving in
There were others - the crazy, manic principle, the librarian who was an eighty-four year old nun that nobody ever stood up to - except for me, the music teacher who lectured us on how awful
Even after I graduated I would see her from time to time. When I went into ministry, she found out about it, and expressed interest in it. She said she wanted to talk with me about what I was doing sometime. This was a very big deal to me at the time. Nobody was interested in my work back then. Nobody wanted to hear about it, but expressed irate disdain and anger over the whole concept of it. Everyone I'd known as a Catholic either turned on me or simply wanted nothing to do with me anymore. This woman - who at one point had been so important to me, and I credited with where I was heading, in many ways - said she was interested. She would call.
I would have expected a lack of response from my former Social Studies teacher, my former Science teacher, even my former Religion/Math teacher. A week passed. She never called. Several weeks passed, turning into years. She never called. When I approached her about this, she never even responded. I saw her only one other time after this, in a parking lot, and she behaved very uncomfortable while trying not to act uncomfortable. It was never spoken of again. Her role in my life was completed, and it was never to be any more than it already had been. She'd been an important part of my past, but was not going to be a part of my future. She didn't have what it would take to walk with me the next phase of the journey.
When I think of this incident, it makes me think of God's words to Moses when he was told he would not enter into the Promised Land. Moses was the most important person in the life of the Israelites. We focus much on Moses and his disobedience, but how did
Every one of us has people that were or are extremely important to us. Every one of us has also experienced the great letdown that follows when people who mean the world to us suddenly begin acting much like the rest of the world. Forgiveness is awesome and essential, but somehow, things are never the same again as we realize our most important people are not necessarily who they might have been to us once upon a time. When confronted with this, we must remember: following behind every Moses is a Joshua, ready and willing to stand with us as important and take us to the next place we need to go in God. As long as we have our sights set on God and all He has for us, we will see many people come and go as they walk with us for the portion of our journey He assigns to them in His infinite purpose and vision.
by Lee Ann B. Marino
Apostle Dr. Lee Ann B. Marino, Ph.D., D.D.
Apostle in Office
Apostolic Fellowship International Ministries
1 (919) 397-9122
© 2011 Lee Ann B. Marino