My dear friend Stuart Tutler is this week's High's Hero Award winner, recognizing people who are making an eternal difference.
Stuart is the headmaster at New Hope Academy in Franklin - quite possibly the most dynamic, Christ-centered, people-serving, cycle-breaking, loving, diverse school in the nation. Former President George W. Bush once praised New Hope as the model for what was possible in our schools.
Schools are not great without a great leader. Stuart is the definition of a leader. He is a servant leader in every way. He prays unlike any person I have ever met. When a need presents itself at New Hope he never panics. He prays and asks his teachers to pray. According to Stuart, God always answers his prayers in very specific ways. He always gives credit to the Lord. Always. He deflects any and all praise for the good that is happening at New Hope or in his life to Him.
Stuart has taught me what prayer really is. He has modeled what it means to "wait upon the Lord" and that the Lord's timing is what's really important. He has loved me unconditionally even when I have done things I know disappointed him. He is full of grace, passion, mercy and love.
Stuart loves his students unlike any school administrator I have ever known. They love him back.
In our short time on earth, in the battle we wage every day, it is reassuring to know that we have mighty men like Stuart Tutler out on the front lines. We need men like Stuart who reflect the very image of Jesus like a big, crystal-clear mirror to remind us who our Lord really is and how He would want us to act, serve and love while we are here.
I am blessed to count Stuart Tutler as a friend. God bless him and his ministry as he makes an eternal difference at New Hope!