William Reese discovered that sometimes blessings truly do come in disguise.
“Drop the idea of becoming someone, because you are already a masterpiece. You cannot be improved. You have only to come to it, to know it, to realize it.” –Osho
When it comes to academic pursuit, it has been said that I am fierce. I recall in my undergraduate studies I would take some 27 credits in one semester. My classmates would laugh at me. They would carry backpacks and briefcases across campus. Not me. I carried a full-size suitcase with as many as twelve textbooks inside of it. I knew what I wanted and I went after.
With such ambition often came exhaustion and burnout. I recall a few years later in my doctorate program I was assigned to several nursing homes in the area to fulfill my clinical internship. I really enjoyed with working with older adults. They would laugh and tell me about the “good old days.” I had begun to notice how some of my patients were being treated unfairly and beneath state standards. The activities director had begun to overhear some of my patients speaking to me of their concerns. She spoke to me as I left the building one day and stated, “You’re just an intern; you need to mind your business.” I quipped to her that after I called the state, she would be jobless and the facility would be closing.
Before I could pull off the parking lot, my clinical supervisor called and requested that if I wanted to keep my internship, I would be in his office as soon as possible. When I arrived in his office, instead of listening to my concerns to quality patient care in the facility, all he could say was that the nursing home was one of their biggest clients and I had no right to threaten to call the state. I held my own in the conversation and he threatened to release me from my internship. However, I was well aware that he could not do as such due to the newly established whistleblower legislation. Yet I was devastated and left his office totally exhausted and worn out. Some twelve to thirteen years of educational pursuit was catching up to me.
A few days before this incident, I was in the gas station near my home and while waiting for gas, a man was causing a terrible ruckus. He way laying on his horn and cussing the lady out in front of him because she was not pumping her gas quick enough. The lady was with her son who could not have been no more than five months and was strapped in his car seat. The lady was shaking and nervous. The man while still cussing began to pull off. Before he did I began hollering at him telling him how rude he was and that he should not have been addressing the lady that way and especially with her young son in the car. I have to admit that I said a few more words which we will not concern ourselves with at this time. The lady got into her car and pulled off as well.
Well, on the same day I had the incident at the nursing home, I went to the local grocery store. Again, I was terribly distraught and discouraged. I was looking for a particular item in the aisle. I noticed a lady with her little son in the basket coming down the aisle, so I moved to the side to let them pass. She stopped and said to me “It was you.” I smiled and said to her “Pardon me?” She told me that I was the man at the gas station that defended her from the gentlemen that was cussing at her.
She repeatedly thanked me. I told her that it was no problem. She stated to me while looking at her young toddler in the basket “If my son grows up to be half the man that you are, I will be thrilled.” They blew me away. This Caucasian lady is standing here making such a statement to me a black, dreadlock wearing male that she would be thrilled to have her son to have qualities like me. We laughed and talked for a few more minutes and she took her leave. I felt so much better and was encouraged. I knew the LORD had caused our paths to cross again to encourage both her and I. I received my blessing right there in Aisle #9.
The next day I arrived on campus and walked into the classroom. My professor looked at me and said “William, you met my wife. I really want to thank you for what you did.” I’m looking at him and telling him I do not recall meeting his wife. He explained to me that it was his wife at the grocery store yesterday. He hugged me and said that he so appreciated me defending his family’s honor. I was baffled and amazed how God used that hold series of events for his glory and encouraged all involved. Needless to say, I was guaranteed an “A” in that class. 🙂
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