"And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
Oh the lessons I get to learn from my students. Those 26 little souls are so full of God's wisdom; it amazes me daily. The title of teacher does not belong to me in that classroom, I can assure you.
I walked into my classroom this past Tuesday entrenched in a morose stupor of emotions, having not an ounce of energy to invigorate first grade curiosity or excitement for learning. Sitting on the carpet with the class in our morning meeting, I could think of nothing but to ask them for help. "Guys, I'm in a horrible mood today. I need your advice- what do you do when you feel crummy or sad about something you can't control to make yourself feel better?"
My honest, and frankly desperate plea for a helping hand was met with the perfect wonder of a child- 26 children, to be exact.
"I remember to take a deep breath and remind myself that everything will be alright."
"I put my hands in my pocket and count to three."
"Sometimes I just go to bed."
"Whenever I'm upset about something, I just walk away and think about something else for a while."
"I try to think about something funny so that I can laugh!" (This tip was promptly followed by a hilariously unexpected bear noise.)
"I pet my puppy when I'm sad."
"Sometimes........sometimes when I'm really upset....sometimes I push my brother." (We tried to give my brother a ring to ask if it would be okay if I pushed him, but since he was stuck in meetings, we decided I could use their other suggestions to brighten my day.)
Morning encouragement given to me from the kids I've tried to encourage. What a perfect reminder their generosity in ministering to me that we're all just human, with human emotions and human experiences. From their six years to my twenty-two, we all experience sadness and anxiety and hope and frustration and joy. We laugh and we cry and we all get through it together.
God has given me a door into his kingdom and I get to walk through it every school day morning. May I become more and more like the students I 'teach,' and may my heart be humbled, that I might see the world through the compassion of their eyes.