Tuesday will be my last day of teaching at Howard University School of Divinity. I’ve been going through my files and reflecting on the past few years here. I wrote this email several years ago and sent it to a few friends. I’m sharing it here for the first time.

Last week, I noticed that one of my students was absent. I asked the class if they knew where he was. One student replied, “He has been deployed to Afghanistan.”
The class fell silent. I fumbled to say something – hope…thoughts…prayers…as I was thinking the worst.
When I went to work today, I discovered that I had received a dozen beautiful yellow roses. The student going to Afghanistan sent them. On the card he thanked me for being a great teacher.
Many many days I wonder if what I do makes a difference. Not today.