For years he never spoke a word save through that white guitar of his. It sang. He played far to the back on the school praise band team. I never heard him sing a note. I never heard him say a word. But, he always came and played.
Three years ago: the one person I always saw him with moved on, angry. In a random poetry assignment, he offered that his father had just done likewise. It was a rich, tight tale. He gained my attention, full.
Two years ago: I got a shot at one of the Bible classes, was sort of commissioned to work a miracle or two. I choose him for my class. He chose me as well. We wrote.
Last year: He started to sing back-up vocals in the band. He smiled at me as we passed in the hall.
This year: He was recruited to play with Hannah and Trent in the “big band” at Epoch. He agreed.
This summer: He signed up for EDGE.
This weekend: He came around the corner from the Green Room. I heard their giddy sounding footsteps and wondered what it would be like to be 17 and playing in such a venue. His smile broke wide as he saw me, his teacher, and maybe more, a muse…who said when others ceased to…”You can do this, I know you can.”
That deathly quiet boy now leads worship and sings lead, no longer hidden behind those incomprehensibly good guitar licks. He brings me his poems, sets them out, stands back, smiling more. He shares his still hurting heart freely for all of us at EDGE to pray.
I put my arm around Alex’s friend, my ex-student as well, his collaborator in the set. He, too, grins that I have come. I turn and face Alex; his arms are wide for me.
How I love this boy.