When I was a student, I didn’t appreciate my high school’s rich history, although I knew that it was the oldest school west of the Allegheny Mountains still in use. Built in 1916, it had hallways with marble floors, huge windows, and enormous photos of historical figures hanging down the walls in heavy frames, held in place with wires. Our restroom stalls had heavy oak doors, and our old, solid wood desks would bring a good amount of money today. But our theater was the most ornate, with huge, red velvet curtains, carvings in the rounded ceiling, and old chandeliers that hung from the heights of that ceiling.
Of all my memories of high school, it’s the people I remember most. There were fun teachers who loved to tell stories, and there were others with stern personalities and no-nonsense rules. I remember my classmates who achieved so much, and the ones who didn’t fit in with anyone. There are many events that I remember: the year our varsity basketball team took second in state, the stifling heat on the third floor every August, swimming during P.E. with no time to dry my dripping-wet hair before the next class. And there is another event that stands out to me, about a boy who wore leg braces and had to navigate those crowded, marble-floored halls with great difficulty. One day, between classes, I saw the young man laying face-down in the hall, unable to get back to his feet. Before I got to him, I watched as two football players came up behind him, gently grabbed under his arms, and without saying a word, carefully put him back on his feet before moving down the hall. I never forgot the kind and humble gesture, how they stopped as others simply walked around him, giving him a helping hand and treating him with dignity.
The rest of us knew nothing of his struggles to walk and keep his balance. We could run through the halls to avoid a late slip, or navigate around a large group to get to our locker. He could not. But there are times in life for all of us when we are like that young man. We have fallen, whether professionally, in an important relationship, in our spiritual walk with God, or in some other area. It’s then that we just need someone to come and gently lift us to our feet again. God is in the business of lifting the fallen. In fact, He promises to do so, if we will only ask of Him:
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the mud;
And He set my feet on a rock, making my footsteps firm. Psalm 40:2
We all feel cast down and alone at times in life. Where is our help when we find ourselves in a fallen place? We only need to look up. He is always there.