Thursday, March 12, 2015

Hot Cheetos once again.

Call to Worship Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Your name give glory, for the sake of Your steadfast love and your faithfulness!

And I am so aware that each interaction is potent for eternal impact. One never knows. It’s about me, not about me, O LORD.

One never knows about that carelessly spoken word rather than a word of His grace and steadfast love.

Mustafo was sneaking hot Cheetos out of his backpack first period and I popped the bag onto the floor, smooshed them, and then tossed it into the trashcan. He exploded and slammed out the classroom door.

I embarrassed him.

I sent a pretty naughty kid who is his friend after him, to apologize for me, and bring him back to class, but he wouldn’t come. And when I finally found Mustafo a couple of hours later, he was in the detention tank, in tears. I apologized for embarrassing him and he said it was no big deal but now he was afraid that he was going to jail because he hit some kid. And he said it had nothing to do with the Cheetos, but I am not so sure. And he was really worried and I really love this Iraqi kid with a great mom and big sister who love him too. Was my flash of “humor,” no big deal, the pebble that sent the ripples of rage outward, beyond the control of a tiny twelve-year-old boy with huge round eyes? 

In the teachers’ bathroom, which I never have time to go to, which is okay because I also don’t have any time to go for a quick sip of water for my burning throat either, there is a small poster in front of the toilet that all of us get to read over and over: I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized. –Dr. Haim Ginott

Dear LORD, help me.

Prayer Keep me sensible of my weakness, and of my dependence upon thy strength. Let every trial teach me more of thy peace, more of thy love. Thy Holy Spirit is given to increase thy graces, and I cannot preserve or improve them unless he works continually in me. May he confirm my trust in thy promised help, and let me walk humbly in dependence upon thee, for Jesus’ sake.