One of my sisters teaches English at a private Catholic school. In fact, she's the department chair, and a pretty good one, if I do say so myself. She's also an immensely talented teacher, beloved by students and co-workers alike. In fact, she is beloved by everyone, including her family members. (me being one of them)
Her children hold her especially dear (of course), for she is an uncommonly wise and nurturing mother. As such, it's not surprising that she dropped critical responsibilities at work instantly (her school is renewing its WASC accreditation this year and is also in the middle of the annual Shakespeare festival) to fly to my niece's side when she went into labor. Neither is it surprising that she stayed longer than initially planned when the baby was born with serious bladder and kidney problems. What is surprising and heartwarming is the unqualified love and support she has received from her school. Other teachers have eagerly stepped in to fill the void, offering their own time and efforts without expectation of reward or compensation. Touching notes, cards, and phone calls have been received; and many prayers have been offered by the school as a whole––during their church services, in their individual classes, and by the students themselves. When she called to check in, she was never regaled with problems or guilted with complaints. Instead, she was lovingly told that what mattered most was Sullivan, her new grandson.
Almost every time my sister speaks to me of this school and her co-workers, she is moved to tears by their generosity of spirit and truly Christlike support. Now that she has returned to their midst, she is hugged and comforted all day long by teachers and students alike. I cannot imagine a more supportive environment for her, and I am grateful for the unconditional love showered upon my sister and her family.
Too often, religions and their members are divided by differences rather than united by faith. Doctrines may and will differ, but true followers of Christ are never that far apart, no matter what church they call home. I am grateful for these fine women who uplift and sustain my sister on a daily basis, who have never shown anything but respect for her as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are "examples of the believers," and I know they will be blessed for their goodness.