Stacey Philpot, a mom and a blogger for “Chronically Whole,” had just announced her hiatus from Facebook. She explained her reasoning for temporarily leaving the social media site on “Her View From Home”:
“The air on Facebook has felt a bit toxic to me lately. I needed some space between me and all the heated political discussions, the finger-pointing, and name-calling.”
Philpot admits that she was actually looking forward to her time away, when she received the text from a friend telling her that she needed to get back on immediately— she “wouldn’t want to miss” the post she was just tagged in.
The post her friend wanted her to see so badly was about a boy who was standing alone by a flagpole outside of Lake Minneola High School in Florida.
Someone who was passing by the school took a picture of the scene:
The passerby captioned the photo:
“I commend the young man that stood alone at Lake Minneola High School’s ‘See You at the Pole Day.’ I weld up [sic] with tears, happy tears, proud tears. I honestly didn’t know that it was today until after I had left and heard it on the radio.
Please take a moment today to pray for our children, school, teachers, and administrators. Pray for protection over them, guidance, wisdom, and a wonderfully blessed year.”
“See You at the Pole Day” is a yearly event where students all over the globe are asked to gather together at their school’s flagpoles to pray for their school, friends, families, churches, and communities.
— Daryla Combs (@combsie22) September 28, 2016
See You at the Pole was this morning. SCA prayed students at our flag pole for our country, leaders, and schools! pic.twitter.com/U4sVztXsl3
— Seffner Christian (@SCACrusaders) September 28, 2016
When Philpot saw the post she was taken aback by all the adoring comments both about the boy and the boy’s parents.
“I don’t know who he was, but his Momma and Daddy should be proud,” one commenter wrote. “That takes courage. He’s obviously a young man of great character.”
She was also shocked because the boy in the picture praying by himself by the flag pole was her own son, Hayden.
Hayden tells Independent Journal Review that he expected other students to show up and join him, but they never did:
“When I went out and saw no one was there, I just expected others would come a little bit later, and started praying. When I realized no one else was coming, I thought that this could be used to influence the community or even just one person. So that’s one of the things I prayed for — the first and biggest thing.”
What Hayden didn’t realize is that he wouldn’t just influence his Minneola, Florida, community, but so many others as well. He tells Independent Journal Review that he never expected God to answer his prayers quite like this:
“I never expected for it to become this big. There are tons of other people that stood at the flagpole alone but somehow I’m the one in this situation which is kind of crazy and awesome because I can represent those people too. I’m humbled, amazed, and glad God was willing to use me in this way. It’s also super overwhelming.”
Philpot couldn’t be more proud of her son and she hopes he knows just how amazing she thinks he is.
What Philpot wants people to take away from Hayden’s act of goodwill is to always remember that whenever you feel like you’re standing alone in life — no matter the situation — know that “God sees, he knows, and he can do big things.”