I remember a day in 3rd grade when I got hit in the face with a soccer ball. I had no idea it was coming. I wasn’t paying attention. I actually don’t even know if I was a part of the game or just standing nearby… but I do remember the BAM! In the face! I remember that it stung, and that I tried really hard not to cry… and that I had a headache for the rest of the day.
Sometimes, I’m walking along in my day… and BAM! In the face! – – – I’m hit with my self-centered-ness (or any other sinful quality I can’t seem to sluff off). And just like the soccer ball, it stings! And sometimes I have to try really hard not to cry… and… you get the point.
Today I had one of those moments. I spent the morning in my sweats (it’s cold!) reading and contemplating life. I even had someone else bring me lunch so I didn’t have to go anywhere. I just needed time (and I still do). Some of my contemplating of life involved tears falling onto the pages of my Bible and or journal (don’t feel sorry for me… I’m a girl… I cry sometimes… it’s okay… it’s even therapeutic). But then I had to put REAL clothes on (because you know, sweats are fake clothes) and go teach for a few hours in the afternoon and I did NOT want to. I just wasn’t in the mood to be a show. But, it’s my job…
So, I went to class… and I taught and I felt like a show. (I noticed 6 people taking my picture with their cell phone when they thought I wasn’t looking – like sneaky little paparazzi.) We did some fun activities today and while they were working on them I walked around the room observing and helping, as usual. But not as usual, every time I wasn’t talking to someone, I felt tears welling up in my eyes. I had to have a talk with myself.
Knock it off, dumby! This is ridiculous. You are fine. There is no reason to feel this way. NO REASON. Be a NORMAL PERSON!!!
So the tears were averted… and then… it was time for a ten minute break. Students roamed about. Several girls came and asked me if I could explain what a bridal shower was and why the word SHOWER was involved. (A local teacher told them about it, but couldn’t explain why it was called a shower…) Another girl was walking towards me, and looked afraid. Freshman often look afraid to speak to me as many of them have never talked to a foreigner before, so I didn’t think much of it. The bell rang. Break over. The girl looked defeated and slumped back to her chair. I gave the class instructions on the next activity and then began to walk around the room, but first I stopped at her desk.
“Did you have a question?”
“Uhh… My father called me during the break. He said my grandfather just died. I think I need to go home.”
She was trying to be strong, but I could tell the tears were ready to come. I told her I was very sorry, patted her on the back, told her she could go and to let me know if she needed anything. And then I looked around the room, and I remembered that each of these beautiful students have a story and many of them probably have very real reasons to cry and most, maybe all, of them do not have reason to choose joy like I do.
BAM! Hit with my self-centered view of the world… in the face… and it stung! And it was hard not to cry, at my sinful nature that hurts the heart of the God I love… and at the heart break of this dear student, and many others…
After class, I made french toast and burnt my thumb on the pan. Britt and I watched two episodes of Friends. I talked to Ashley. And I spent time with Jesus. Because I need Jesus… so so so so much!
I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD,
the praises of the LORD,
according to all that the LORD has granted us,
and the great goodness to the house of Israel
that he has granted them according to his compassion,
according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
(Isaiah 63:7 ESV)