This past month has been a difficult one for the SBS community. Twenty students have been removed from the community for a variety of reasons—mostly for violating “big” school rules. In the life of a boarding school, these breaks are hard. It only makes sense that when you study, eat, play, and live together you feel a greater sense of loss than you would if you only saw that person during a normal school day. Students are sad. Faculty are sad. Administrators are sad.
I didn’t know any of the disciplined students well. Brad knew some of the students as he had them in class or they lived in the dorm where he was a dorm parent. One of the truths I am learning about community living (especially with high school students) is that you don’t always see the fruits of your labor. My sense is that some students come through these doors and you wonder if you even left a fingerprint on their lives. Others come in and their lives are transformed in such a way that you can’t even take credit for it—it is so obviously God at work.
As a parent, I think about the moms and the dads of these kids. I am sure they are going through their own stages of anger, disappointment, and sadness. Mainly, my prayer is for the students. My hope for all of them is that this experience serves as a wake-up call. I hope that while they were at SBS they witnessed a community that was real and authentic. Where people screwed up and needed to ask for forgiveness. Where faculty and staff sought to live lives of faith that were winsome and attractive.
Most likely I won’t see some of these students again. I won’t know the “end-of-the-story” for them. Sometimes, by God’s grace, you do find out how the story finishes and it ends well, but sometimes you just have to trust God for what you can’t possibly know.