A couple weeks ago Greg challenged us in his sermon to not spend our quiet time in the same way every day. He liked it to dating someone and how if you did the same thing every day, your time would become boring and stagnant.
I was alone that afternoon, and so as I cooked dinner for myself I decided that I would take Greg's words seriously. Usually I watch tv if I'm by myself for a meal, but I decided that I would go on a date with God. I would turn the lights down, light a candle, turn off the music/tv and really focus on God as I ate.
I did all this when suddenly at the other end of the table a little face appeared.
I've always suspected that God had a sense of humor, but this confirmed it. Suddenly I was on a date with Italics. I hate most in all the world being called a cat lady because I think that cat ladies are completely alone except for the friendship they buy from an animal. Maybe someday I'll learn to see the joke.
1. One of my Sophomores carries a panda around. He had a rip in his leg. I told her I'd do some surgery, so she brought him to me and I got to have a mom moment and fix Mr. Bear.
2. I had a student who is really difficult to get along with. He's never wrong and is full of himself. He skips French, Algebra and Biology on a regular basis. He is angry and when he gets bored with school he tries to get himself kicked out. He thinks he is going to be a football player when he grows up and that it's impossuble for him to get hurt so he will never need school. He came to play Scrabble with ME on his LUNCH this week. Go figure.
3. Last year I had a student who was a repeater 9th grader. This year he is in 11th grade, finally. He came to see me and told me that he was doing a lot better because he only had 2 Fs on his report card this time. I asked him in what classes he had Fs. He told me one of the classes was English 11. I flipped my lid. I told him that he had someone who loved English 11 standing right in front of his face. He said that he thought he could only go to his English teacher for help. I told him I expected him to come to me for help. This week he brought a project and we worked on it for two days afterschool and he turned it in today. I'm so proud.
I read about how you touched them and they were healed Or even if someone just touched your cloak they were forever changed You let a broken women bathe your feet in her tears And you washed your best friend’s feet I am just wondering though did you just ever hug people
I mean I know that it is a silly question and all I am sure you would have why wouldn’t you But its one of those things that was never mentioned that got me thinking about it
And how whenever there was a touch from you sins were forgiven and sickness fell I think I’m caught up in my sins last time I checked all my body parts were properly working, nothing special here I am just a kid with a heavy heart these passing sunrises and sunsets
I don’t think our encounter would have ended up in the gospels or anything Because all I really need is a hug That is ok for me to imagine right That’s not going to be conflicting with any sort of theology is it Ok good, then hug me
But not one of these side ways one arm around the neck type hugs Or the ghetto right hand clasp fists elbows to chest pit pat on the back back Or you put your right arm over my right arm and I put my left arm over your left arm and we make this weird sort of diagonal thing Nah none of those
BEAR HUG ME MAN Take your old school carpenter arms and throw them over my upper body leaving my arms dangling underneath yours somewhere and I can barely move them because your squeezing so hard But don’t pick me up and make my back pop because I hate it when people do that
And hold me, hold me here in your arms until I start to cry because I WANT TO CRY But I just can’t seem to do it on my own I have been teary eyed once recently but not even enough for a drip down my cheek There's just hurt in my soul that needs to be purged so hold me in this hold pose until the pain is flowing from my eyes and nose
I have a student who disappeared for about a week. Despite efforts to find him, the school couldn't track him down. He's a really bright kid but can get sucked into whatever else is going on around him. Monday he was back in my classroom and I greeted him by telling him that I was worried about him and that I was really glad he was back. I asked if he was sick. He said no, but wouldn't tell me where he was. I didn't really press it because I've never been the kind of person to force confidence. Yesterday he asked me if he could come in to do make up work. He said he didn't think he could make it to me til 5:00 because he takes a class over at another school in the afternoon and he would have to ride the bus back. So I waited. I waited til 5:20 when a former student of mine, a Senior walked by my room and asked "Ms. J, why are you still here?" I told her I was waiting for D. She told me I should go home and I knew she was right. I slowly packed up my things. I walked out to the parking lot to my car when a bus drove by. Hope soared back up in me. Maybe D. was on that bus and he would come to my classroom. I walked back inside for something I'd forgotten. I slowly locked my door back up. He never came. I cried a bit as I drove home. I can't really put my finger on why this effected me so much. I've had kids say they'd come before and they haven't. No big deal. Sometimes I just can't help really rooting for a kid. I wish well for all of them. I get disappointed when they don't do well on things and I get brokenhearted for them when they struggle. I just have to keep on hoping for them, I guess. In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul says that "love hopes all things." Maybe this is a little how that looks. Maybe God patiently waits, hoping for us to see how much we need him. Maybe he keeps hoping we will run to him.
I had the privilege of speaking at Fellowship of Christian Athletes tonight. I talked about abiding in the love of Christ and how that enables us to love others. I have no idea if what I said made sense or if it meant anything at all, but for me to look into the eyes of 40 high school students and finally have the opportunity to say with my words that they are precious to the heart of God was one of the highlights of my life.
People tune in weekly to watch the show "Intervention." The watch as the family and friends of an addict explain how the addiction is harming not only the addict, but everyone who is connected to them. The family tells the addict that they must seek help. Today as I sat in my third parent/teacher conference of the week I was reminded of the concept. We sat there explaining that this student needed to change his behaviors or he was headed down a path he wasn't going to be proud of later. This student has told me before that his father was killed due to gang involvement. We shared that we were worried that he was talking too much about gangs, drugs and sex and not enough about school. I could see J. shutting down and so I told him, "We are all here for you! We care about you and we want to see you succeed. There isn't anyone at this table that isn't wanting to help you in anyway we can." His stepdad told him they loved him. As I sat watching, I had this increasing feeling of heartbroken-ness as I listened to his parents share. I don't know why, but sometimes I feel so burdened by what is going on in the lives of my students. I must trust that the Lord has J. in the palm of his hand, as he does all my kids.
As to myself, today is a "Sense and Sensibility" watching while grading papers kind of night. The melancholy and Elinor's personality match my sentiments exactly.