death

The Nudge Part 1: Little Pushes

By Jeannie McPherson, eMoon author


Dreams often begin with a nudge. One of my little pushes came during an eleventh grade English. It was likely a beautiful day outside, probably February, and one of the first signs spring was just around the corner.  It was 1967, nearly 50 years ago.  Some details have become vague, but the important parts are as vivid as if it happened yesterday.

One particular student had been giving the English teacher as much grief as anyone should tolerate in one day.  Just before the teacher’s meltdown, the teacher gave all of us an extra assignment.   I remember in my angst, going to the library, randomly choosing one of the 20 volumes in that year’s annual encyclopedia set. I flipped through a book and read the first page I came upon to get a possible idea for an essay topic. It must have been the “L” volume because I wrote an essay on one of Abraham Lincoln’s pearls of wisdom. 

The topic I chose was how to react when all suffer the consequences of someone’s poor choice(s).  My writing strength is to take a topic and figure out how to write a manuscript to fit the need. At sixteen, this strength was the last thing on my mind.  It was truly just my reaction to the teacher’s unfair discipline of one student. With my father on the school board, I knew better than to be outwardly disrespectful. So, I created a respectful and convincing essay.

I received an A , but the relevancy is the recognition I could write to express my feelings.  This is how I have often problem-solved difficult situations. At a minimum, writing has become an acceptable alternative to yelling. Has it always worked? No, but writing has likely made me a better person emotionally. 

That same disruptive student died in a car accident a few years after graduation. He knew nothing of my frustration nor my gratitude for this experience. I wish I could tell him how the Lord gave me some adult-life tools to cope with what was just the beginning of a life of trials, temptations, and tests. I wish I could thank him for what he didn’t know he had done for me.

Fast-forward to 2008.  It was Memorial Day weekend and the 40th anniversary of our class graduation. It was a simple gesture, but I placed a bouquet of flowers on his gravesite. I was still alive to honor those who need to be understood, to make something beautiful out of frustration, and most of all, glorify God in everything.  Did God nudge me to buy the flowers?  I know the answer. 

Now, I dream of the day I can officially call myself a published writer. I am counting the nudges I have had to make this dream come true.  God is good.  His nudges are gentle and kind.