On Wednesday morning before sunrise, the electricity ceased to function in our area. Just for 6 hours but we didn’t KNOW that at 4 a.m. By 7 a.m. without knowing any prospective time of return of electricity, we turned on the generator (which means someone dragged it from storage, checked oil and gas levels, found the cable and instructions, and followed them specifically). So the kitchen was preserved as a haven of modern comfort.
I was chapel leader this week and decided to hold chapel under the pergola where a breeze swept our bodies and plants shaded our heads. After sharing a Bible passage, praying and chatting, we moved into Language Arts which on Wednesday ended up being a look at a dead plant in a pot, a filthy rag, two dead coquis and Isaiah 64:6.
I challenged the students to draw my morbid still life and contemplate how our lives can be dead even though we are breathing. The more linguistically mature students wrote about this while the less capable students went back to the classroom (because the lights were finally on) and began some other endeavors. I will get permission and then I can share some of the writings from Wednesday. For now, let it be known GOD IS ALIVE AND AT WORK HERE.
As part of my lesson, I noticed the tress in the field looked so HAPPY compared to the dead plant and my mind went to Isaiah 55:12 in which the trees APPLAUD God! As I was signing this, I mentioned to th students how the ASL sign for APPLAUD looks like a TREE shaking in the breeze. How cool that APPLAUD in ASL describes the CLAPPING OF HANDS as we talk about the TREEs applauding!
My most immature mis-understood students also are also learning that GOD is ALIVE and at WORK here. (APPLAUSE TO GOD) One little guy is so sure he is NEVER wrong. It’s not hard to catch him doing wrong… “don’t pick at that scab and make yourself bleed again… (time passes) …Oh look now you are bleeding. Who scratched your arm?…” Even when he is caught literally red-fingered, he assures me that he indeed was obeying. Sigh. When the evidence is clear, he usually answers honestly around the third asking. I use these teachable moments prayerfully. “GOD, speak to this child’s heart and use me if You think it would be helpful.”
This week, we had some moments of sorrow and learning mixed with hugs and more learning. How do some of my students define LOVE? One defines it as being held as a baby… and perhaps the lack of being held leads to misbehaviour so that at least SOME attention will be given.
Today, everyday, hold your children – even if they are past that age. Hug them a little longer and speak affirmations of your love and approval to their hearts and lives. I see what comes when that is not done and my 7:30 to 3:30 teacherly efforts cannot make up for the sense of missing out on a mother’s love.
One of those more linguistically mature students saw my bereft glance in the direction of the sad little life, and told me, “Don’t worry Betsy, God is my Father and I know He will always love and hold me.”
Praise God for that statement and PRAY to God that each of my students will come to know that truth. Thanks for praying! And in my thanks to YOU and GOD for your partnering in our ministry, I raise my hands in the shape of TREE and shake them in the breeze of today!