I'd like to share a story with you about a child's struggle through school. This child didn't have parents who talked much, if any, about Jesus and their divorce separated any resemblance of family the child had.
There were no role models in this child's life. No mentors. No Sunday school teachers. No family members who took them under their wing. This child was moved around several times in elementary school. Made fun of through middle school. Never cool enough. Never had the right clothes. Never looked the part. High school wasn't much better. Bullying, in the form of words mostly, created a narrative that the student believed.
There were friends, but not really. Nothing substantive. Not one peer ever became a true friend. Not one classmate extended an invite to church or youth group. No one ever shared the hope of Jesus. Not one adult, in the form of teachers, administrators, coaches, and counselors spoke words of life into this teen.
Lost, confused, in pain, hurting, struggling, and with so many questions, this teenager was all alone in the darkness that had become life. After a physical altercation with the mother's boyfriend, the teen finished senior year on the couch of an acquaintance.
The graduate walked but didn't gain anything but a piece of paper. The school didn't provide anything meaningful that would have promoted the student to be a productive life-giver...to be a light that was so desperately needed. So the cycle would continue and the darkness would prevail...well, until God intervened!
When someone asks me about Cornerstone, my conversation always turns to one resounding sentiment. I start off with how Christ is at the center of our school and that is what sets us apart first and foremost, but then, without fail, every time, I talk about the staff.
The staff is the reason Cornerstone is so different. They set this school apart from others. They don't only lead excellently, but they care deeply. They rely on Jesus for strength and charge Satan head on with the struggles of their students. They speak life over, pray for, and invest in every student that needs role models and mentors like the child in the story. They battle for the young hearts that walk in and out of the doors on a daily basis, and then they don't stop once students graduate, no, they continue ministering from afar. They pursue the purpose Jesus has placed on their life, and they do it with great joy out of true love for the students they serve.
The staff at Cornerstone is everything the student in the story needed when he was in school. I know this because the story is about me. When my parents divorced in 5th grade, I wish I would have had someone like Mrs. Crump or Mrs. Daniel to show me love with kindness and care.
When I was being bullied in middle school, I wish there would have been someone like Mrs. White or Mrs. Cosgrove who would have told me what my real value was.
When I was lost and confused in high school, I wish I had someone like Mrs. Haas or Mr. Edmondson to be the light of hope that I so desperately needed.
When I finished my senior year, on the couch of a barely known acquaintance, I wish someone like Mrs. Nguyen or Mrs. Luke would have shared the message of hope in Jesus Christ with me. I didn't have people like this in my life then, but thankfully God intervened and pulled me out of the darkness.
In John 8 the scribes and Pharisees brought an adulterous woman to Jesus. As they tried to trick Jesus into agreeing to a punishment of stoning, Jesus stooped down and started writing in the dirt with His finger. When He stood up He said, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.”
The men left, and the woman was forgiven and was told to sin no more. But then Jesus provided the hope that the woman needed. He said, “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” Not only did Jesus forgive, but He gave the woman a new life with a new purpose...to be the Light of Life!
The commitment from the staff at Cornerstone this year is to be The Light of Life. As believers with re-written stories, we take great joy in our partnership with parents as a force fighting the darkness our students face. Satan is working hard to divide and destroy, so we must be the light of life our students need. I'm thankful our students don't have a story like mine, but that doesn't keep our adversary away. The darkness hates the light, but it can't overcome the light!
The Light of Life
Jesus spoke to them again:
“I am the light of the world.
Anyone who follows me
will never walk in the darkness
but will have the light of life.”
Always remember that our partnership is deeper than a degree. Our greatest desire is your greatest desire...that each student will know Jesus, love Jesus, and live for Jesus. We don't teach with a biblical worldview to force students how to think, but as a way to actively model biblical principles that show the great love, mercy, and grace of Jesus.
As we shine a light in the darkness, please pray with us throughout the year for each of our staff members as they teach and disciple, and we will be praying for each of you as you raise up your children in the way that is right. When the family, the church, and the school are all committed to the same goal, the darkness quickly becomes overpowered by the bright shining Light of Life!