(Less than an hour before Christmas)
He’s not as world-famous a poster boy for change as Barack Obama. But uniquely, this Indianapolis Bible teacher changes his world with pen, paper, memory and heart.
You see, Dan Stroup does not end his lessons on life and God’s word in his 8th grade classroom.
Yearly on their birthdays, his students–current and graduates–each get an old-fashioned snail mail from him. For a number, their first this school year. For others, their second, twelfth, or twenty-ninth.
And it’s no generic “Happy birthday, God bless.”
All–2,500 and counting–contain words from Mr. Stroup’s heart. There’s a verse, a prayer, a paragraph of encouragement, a sentence of commiseration, or a clause of reminiscence. All handwritten when he could have simply typed and clicked “Send.”
Interestingly, like the Philippines’ Efren Peñaflorida, here is a teacher whose faith in God and people drives him to go beyond the expected to touch lives.
Maybe it is something in people who pass on knowledge and wisdom. Or maybe it is a grace only He bestows on those who ask.
With Mr. Stroup’s story of remembering I remember my own mentors, profs, Ma’ams, Sirs, pastors, and Bible teachers.
While none have performed a feat like Mr. Stroup’s, they have spotted skill and developed it, seen character and challenged it, perceived needs and filled it, and with it portrayed excellence and made sacrifice.
As I leave this year the realm of teachers and students (temporarily, I hope), here’s my deepest thanks to them.
And a deeper thanks to the greatest Teacher who lived and gave His life as one for us to take and follow.
A blessed Christmas.