"I can't believe you are going back Alleia. You were shot and paralyzed by one of those punk kids in that neighborhood, and now you are going back to that school full of little gangsters. Are you crazy?" My best friend Vicki asked exasperated.
"Vicki it wasn't one of my students who shot me. It was a little gangster, and I was caught in the crossfire, hit in the spine."
"I don't need to be reminded Alleia. I spent twelve hours in the hospital that night, praying that you would live. I wasn't ready to loose my best friend then and I am not ready to loose my best friend now."
"Vicki my kids need me and the truth is I need them too. They deserve a chance to learn, they have been getting nothing but substitute afrer substitue since I was shot and they need stability. These kids are not all bad, they just put on a strong front because that is what is expected of them."
"I still think you are crazy you've been out of the hospital for only a month, you now depend on a wheelchair or crutches."
"Yes and that is not likely to change, so why should I sit around feeling sorry for myself? I am going back to these kids and I am going to teach, I believe that is what the Lord wants me to do."
Vicki grew quiet realizing this wasn't a fight she was likely to win. I had made up my mind. I was going back to teaching.
"I have prayed about this Vicki this is what I am suppose to do. Maybe these kids will see Christ's love through me, I think some of them already have. That is the most important lesson they can learn Jesus loves them."
"Even talking about Christ can get you fired."
"I know Vicki, but if I don't fight for these kids who will?"
"I will be praying Alleia, at least allow me that, I know you are going to need all the prayers you can get."
I transferred myself from my desk chair where I was sitting back to my wheelchair. I had to make the trip into town to go to Staples to pick up supplies for these kids, most of the kids did not come with so much as a pencil, they had other things on their mind, like staying alive.
"Would you like me to go to Staples to get the supplies?" Vicki asked. I was able to drive now that I had a car with hand controls, and I liked that freedom, but for this I would take my best friend along, she could help me gather up the supplies for the kids.
"That would be great I could use help figuring out what to get. The only thing I am certain that I am getting other than of course pens, pencils and papers is a new laptop for myself."
"The one you have isn't even a year old. You are giving that one to that fifteen year old girl with the baby? The one you were telling me has dreams of becoming a writer." Vicki asked.
"Yeah but I really did want to get a more high tech laptop anyway, and the one I have now would be great for her."
"Make sure you don't give the new one away." Vicki teased.
"I don't plan on it, but it is not like I don't have money, my Grandparents left me a trust fund, I certainly could not buy all this stuff on a teachers salary, and I feel it does me no good to be greedy with the money."
"Vicki that is something no one could accuse you of."
Vicki pushed the cart while I grabbbed a list of things needed for the grades I taught, freshmen through Seniors and as we went I crossed things that I had already gotten off the list. The school district was undersupplied to say the least, so I often brought materials for the class, and I often even bought books, because the text books were so far gone they practicaly fell apart in your hands.
"Are you sure you are ready to go back to teaching?" Vicki asked again.
"Yes Vicki I am sure." I said as Vicki picked out a new laptop for herself. She was finally making enough money from her royalites to treat herself and she deserved that.
Audrey my fiftteen year old student with the three month old baby had come to see me in the hospital as had most of my students, they had told me how much they had missed me, I was thankful that I was reaching out to these kids, that they were taking to me.
I even told these kids about being Christians in my own time, but as I got to thinking about it I wondered how anyone could have agreed to taken God out of the schools hadn't they see how stupid that was.
I was a Christian and I should not have to hide that fact from anyone. I felt I should allowed to be shared my faith with my students Lord knows they needed to hear about it.
"Alleia are you alright?" Vicki asked.
"Yeah I'm fine just getting lost in thought and prayer."
"You know no one would blame you if you wanted to take more time off of teaching."
"Vicki I thought we already discussed this, I am not changing my mind, I want to go back to my kids."
"You are braver than I could be."
"I lean on the Lord and that is where I find my strength."
"Just be careful okay? I do not want to face loosing my best friend."
"I will be careful don't worry the Lord is with me and I know when to lean on him."
Vicki left to her house across the street, and I was left alone to right out the lesson plan to read the word, and to pray. I was ready for this, but I knew that I had to pray through this. It was the best thing to do and it was the only thing to do.