Say What You Need to Say
This week my junior high English teacher died. His death at 65 was a shock, as was the realization, when I did the math, that he was only 27 when he taught me. Mr. Ambler was an exceptional teacher with a passion for learning. Even more importantly he was a remarkable human being who had the grace to love awkward teens like me. I was a better student and I am a better person because of him.
Mr. Ambler was also my soccer coach. I clearly remember him putting his arm around my shoulder after practice one rainy afternoon and saying, “I really appreciate how hard you worked today. You’re a heck of a good player.” Such simple words. It was a mere 15 seconds of his life. Yet those words still make me smile 38 years later. Great teachers mark you that way.
But here’s the thing, I never thanked him. I couldn’t see it. The aperture of my young life was too small, like trying to capture the grandeur of a galaxy through a keyhole. And now it’s too late. The words just heap up heavily in my throat. More than once they’ve gently pooled in my eyes this week. Gratitude and regret are odd roommates.
But I’m not 14 anymore, and I’m far more aware of the people all around me who continue to mark my life with grace in both simple and profound ways. If nothing else I can honor Mr. Ambler by giving voice to the gratitude I wish I had expressed years ago, a simple “thank you” to those through whom God’s unfolding grace is revealed in ways they know and in ways they may never know if nothing is said.
Take five minutes to watch this awesome video and let it inspire you to say what you need to say.