Not talking about the hokey-pokey today.
(Although odds are I’ll do just that in with my kiddos today. Kinder is so much fun!)
I was reminded last week what it really is all about. And by “it” I mean this crazy hard job of teaching.
Before school one day I was standing, counting little heads and tying little shoes and hurrying along little breakfast eaters, when I felt someone tugging at me. It was one of my students from 2 years ago…a big second grader now.
This particular child was a challenge, to say the least. He could drive you to total frustration one moment, then break into the most adorable grin the next and melt your heart. He was the topic of many prayers that year, and has continued to be one that I’ve watched, inquired about, prayed for, and tried to encourage. I desperately want good things for this little guy.
And here he was now, tugging at me and looking up with bright eyes and freshly combed and slicked back hair.
“Well good morning!” I said, giving him a hug. “I’m so happy to see you!”
After telling me good morning, a look of complete seriousness came across his face. “I just wanted to tell you something,” he said. “I just wanted to say, God bless you for teaching me in Kindergarten.”
He caught me so off guard, I hardly knew what to say, except to hug him and thank him and tell him that I loved him. Then off he went, leaving me to catch my breath and to know, without a doubt, that moments like that were what it is all about.
Sure, as a teacher I am expected to teach…some would say first and foremost. But as a Christian, I am called to more. I am called to love, to show these babies the love of Christ. It doesn’t even really matter that I can’t initiate conversations with them about my beliefs, because it is through my actions that they will know who I am.
So on those days…those days which will surely come, which tend to sneak up on me…when I’m caught up in standards and expectations and the list of to-do’s, the days when I’m tempted to rush past the hugs in the name of being “too busy,” the days when I get caught up in my own troubles and fail to recognize the emotional needs of my little ones…
On those days, I pray that God will remind me what it’s all about.
KEEP CALM & POUR OUT THE LOVE OF CHRIST
P.S. – Funny story from when I had this little guy in Kindergarten. He got in trouble one day for sticking his tongue out at another student. When I called him over to talk to him about it, he told me that “Jesus told me to do it.”
“Oh, no, no…that can’t be.” I said. “I know Jesus, and I know that he would never ask you to stick out your tongue at one of our friends.”
“You know Jesus?!” he said.
“Yep. I know him. And I know that he would want you to be kind to your friend, not mean…” I replied.
He definitely had to think on that one for a while…hehe.