Talia came through the door of the church and instantly Dina knew something was wrong. Her posture told the story. Shoulders hunched over, feet shuffling along the ground and her head hung down. Talia tried to smile her way through obvious despair but it was useless.
“I just found out my position is eliminated for the next school year.” Music teacher, apparently expendable. Here comes the hard part, what can Dina say: I’m sorry, that sucks, I know how you feel? None of the above was necessary, Talia simply needed to vent.
“What really hurts is that they’re saying music education isn’t important, they don’t value me. It’s personal.” For twenty-five years she worked with the kids and brought more than just clef notes and chords to their lives. One of her students went on to become a well-known jazz pianist. Others walked away with a lifelong appreciation of music.
Dina listened and finally offered a few words. She told her friend those twenty-five years count. She explained that when there’s a budget crisis decisions are made with the balance sheet in mind, it’s not personal.
Talia listened but she wasn’t ready to hear. They walked into the chapel together. Sitting next to each other they prayed. Talia prayed for a change of heart from the school board. Dina prayed for a change of heart from Talia. “Please God, give her strength to get through this. Open her eyes to the new opportunities that await her. Change her heart from bitter to sweet.”