Collateral Beauty
Amy Bode

Blue Ribbon! Project IMPACT Phase 3! Record enrollment growth! And the weekend of March 13, five teams were slated to compete at the State level– Varsity Boys Basketball, Mock Trial, DECA, Scholastic Bowl, and two VEX Robotics teams. Our students were making school history! 

It was an extraordinary time to be a Trojan! 

But on March 12, the same day our boys basketball team headed down to Peoria for the State tournament, new terms like social distancing and flattening the curve seemed to dominate the news. Then, one by one, State competitions were canceled. On March 17, the governor of Illinois shuttered every school in the state. 

No students returned to campus for the rest of the school year. By all accounts, the abrupt end to the state competitions, the stay at home order, and the implementation of home learning could have been a devastating blow to our entire community. 

But instead the community rallied together. 

That in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Our teachers invested hours and hours of work into home learning. They continued to pray with  students, mentor them, and challenge them. Chapels continued and virtual events like Late Night With Davidson connected the community. 

There was collateral beauty through it all—a beauty that can only happen during desperate times. It’s in the stillness of a preschool teacher quietly praying with a four-year-old student over Google Meet. It’s in an entire grade driving by a teacher’s house honking and holding up signs to say thank you.  And collateral beauty comes from understanding the truth of Romans 8:28: That in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. 

Collateral beauty happens in times that we cannot control and simply do not understand. 

This edition of the Reflector is not at all how anyone imagined the school year. There are gaping holes—like traditional graduations, the last day on campus, entire sports seasons, and the list could go on and on. 

This year was not easy. But the most important things rarely are. This community leaned into each other—and more importantly—taught our children how to lean into Him at a time when the world was off-kilter. This school year was more than just raising test scores, winning trophies, and State titles—it was about developing a deep understanding that the one truth, and trusting God, are the only things that really matter. And during a pandemic, that caused so much collateral damage, that deep faith is a beautiful thing.