As I sat down to take the tests, there were very particular and strict directions about what to do and not do during and after the test. One of the directions was to not write anything down after the test.
Parts of the tests were computerized and other parts were written. As I took the tests, I remembered my Jamaican angel. I also remembered what it says in the Big Book about when we are nervous: “We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers will come after we have tried this for a while.” And boy, did I need right answers.
Well, after a couple hours, I finished. I was shaking. I could see two out three test scores on the computer screen, and I could see I had passed them. And even though I knew I passed them and would be getting an official transcript in a few weeks, I still wanted to remember my scores right then. So, ignoring the rule not to write anything down after the tests (rules apply to me?), I tore off a teensy, tiny, little scrap of paper and wrote down my scores. What harm could that do?
I gathered my belongings from a locker and left. I walked down the hallway and got to the elevators. I pushed the down button and as I was waiting for the doors to open, I noticed the test administer rushing out of the room. She looked a bit frantic. She spotted me.
“I need that little piece of paper you wrote on,” she said. “We know you wrote something, and we have to disqualify your scores if you don’t give me that paper.”
Luckily I had it and didn’t lie like I would have a few years prior when I got caught doing something wrong. I just gave her the paper and told her what I had done. She assured me it would be OK now that she had the piece of paper, and then sternly admonished me for not following directions. She reminded me how lucky I was that she found me. I thanked her profusely and turned to press the button on the elevator. It dawned on me then that she was another angel. She didn’t have to come looking for me. And whoever was operating the camera that caught me writing my down my scores was another angel.
I was still shaking, when the doors finally opened. And there, standing with a big, beautiful grin, was the Jamaican parking garage attendant.
“You passed, didn’tcha’ mon?” he asked.
“Yes, I passed,” I said, as my face was flushed with a child-like pride. And as I looked up at him, my mind was swirling with the thought, “What was he doing in here? Shouldn’t he be in the parking garage?”
Trembling with relief and joy, I stepped into the elevator with him. He pushed the button to close the doors.
“Good, mon. I knew you would pass, mon. But the real test is now.”
“What do you mean? I asked.
“You need to apply what you learned to help the children that are coming to you. That’s the real test, mon.”
And as we walked together back to the parking garage and to my car, I had such a deep gratitude for God’s Love and Mercy. I thanked the angel, gave him as big of a tip as I had to give, and got in my car. He handed me the keys. “Peace, mon,” he said.
And I swear when I looked back to see him again as I was driving out of that place—he was gone.
Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog