The woman looked awful. A sudden migraine drop kicked her into that terrible place where she thought she might die and wished she’d hurry up. She wobbled to my office window and requested a sub. First grade teachers cannot leave all willy-nilly just because they’re dying. Everyone knows death for a teacher requires at least a two week notice.
“Yes!” I assured her. “I’ll find someone to fill in for you until a substitute can get here.” About that time, my sweet husband happened by to see me. He had walked over from the middle school during his planning period. “Hey Huuuuunnnney… could you please watch her class for a few minutes?”
When the longest forty-five minutes of his life were finally over, again he stopped by my office. “How’d it go?” I asked sympathetically. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop he responded, “They were HORRIBLE. They pat you with their sticky little hands. Why do they do that?”
It seems my sweetheart was not designed to meet the needs of tiny people. Gladly he’d endure the purgatory called middle school. But never again would he willingly subject himself to the abyss known as elementary.
With another school year starting, I’d like to extend my great appreciation and a backpack full of “Bless your hearts” to the educators. I must say, you remind me of Jesus… except that He didn’t have to do bulletin boards.
People pulled and tugged and confronted and accused and begged of Him continuously. So. Many. Needs. I bet the children even patted him with their fishy little hands. Yet He kept opening His weary arms to accept the least of these.
I find it interesting that while “vast crowds came to hear Him preach and be healed of their diseases,” Luke 5:16 gives us a little insight into Jesus’ strategy for coping. He “often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.”
Don’t worry. This is not where you’re guilted into adding one more thing to your very long list. Take this as an observation from an old chick who served amongst the good, the bad and the ugly for five years in one school and twenty in another.
Prayer changes everything.
No, you probably won’t have time to withdraw to some hidey hole where thou shalt kneel for a quiet “sweet hour of prayer.” But a mindset of bringing a child or family before the Lord as you’re dealing with them really helps. If your prayer sounds like, “Lord help little Pookie Bear lest I shake him til his teeth rattle.” God knows his need… and yours. I promise. I’ve seen it firsthand. Prayer changes everything. Mostly it changed me. Besides I figure since Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God prayed often, we might benefit from a cry for help too.
So thank you dear Teachers.
Lord help you dear Assistants.
Bless you dear Office Personnel.
God love you dear Principal.
What a wonderful calling you have! To bring out the best in so many lives! Like Captain Kirk on the Starship Enterprise, may you boldly take others where they have never been before!
And like Jesus, may God give you strength to open weary arms to the very least of these.