Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Look, the fields are white with the harvest.

Call to Worship The Mighty One, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth. Our God comes; he does not keep silence. Psalm 50:1-2

So Nicole was praying last night for our little school and our hurting and broken kiddos, and sort of panicking about presenting her anti-bulling, pro-kindness Rachel’s Challenge to a crammed-packed room everyone-is-required-to-attend talk at the neighboring Boys and Girls Club this morning at nine. And God told her to open up her Bible and that He was going to speak to her, and He did.

Listen to me, all you people! The Lord says, Don't be afraid! Don't be paralyzed by this mighty army! For the battle is not yours, but God's! But you will not need to fight! Take your places; stand quietly and see the incredible rescue operation God will perform for you. Don't be afraid or discouraged! Go out there tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!

Then King Jehoshaphat fell to the ground with his face to the earth, and all the people of Judah and the people of Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the Lord.

Out of Second Chronicles. Who ever shuts their eyes and opens up their Bible to Second Chronicles?

And God is at work. He is not silent.

Yesterday before school I was sort of panicking myself. It was the first day after Spring Break. Because I has these huge science packets I had let all the other teachers go in front of me with the printers, and now they were all jammed, so I was in my room trying to log onto the erratic district website, mull over brand new lesson plans by the next ten minutes and by the way, last night's  dreams had been filled with classroom management nightmares.

There was a tentative knock at the door and Mustafa, the Iraqi kid with the crushed red hot Cheetos from last week was peering around the corner.

“Miss, I didn’t get arrested.”

Wow. That is so cool, Mustafa.

“Miss, is there anything I can do to help you?”

Oh yeah there is. Hey Mustafa, will you be my special assistant? You will have to make great decisions because I am going to have you run my whole desk, take attendance, excuse people to go to the bathroom, distribute pencils and materials, and run the sharpener. Is that okay? And you will have to get all of your packet done too. But this will be great because today is going to be a crazy day with balloons and string and scotch tape.

“Oh yes, Miss.”

And so Mustafa, the little guy with straight F’s in all of his classes, went bustling off with a note from me to the office asking for a box of pencils, but of course because everyone down at the office knows him well, they sent another student back with the pencils. But man oh man was he happy sitting in my rolly chair with the stapler and colored pencils.

And God is at work. He is not silent.

And even though the other science teacher, the Gifted and Talented Student science teacher told me I was crazy to do balloons with my bunch of kids, I sent for the disciplinarian in the middle of fourth period, my most out-of-control period ever, not to grab a few kids and make a few phone calls home, but to let him see 35 kids doing science all at the same time. And things were indeed a little crazy, but all of my Somali and Syrian kids were kneeling on the floor with their stopwatches and string and tape and so, so happy. And they get to take the balloons home when the experiment is finished.

And the other science teacher came up to me in the afternoon and said she was thinking about my lesson and she decided that it was a great idea because obviously these kids can’t read about science so they need to do science.

And God is at work. He is not silent.

And Cate and Nicole had their best class ever yesterday, the first day of the Leadership class where they told all of the teachers to send them their worst students for the last period of the day. And even my yeller, the girl who walks into my class screaming profanities every single day, who the girl at her table told me yesterday, “Miss, that is the way she is. Her family is like that too. When I go over there all five of her brothers and her mom and her dad yell like that too,” even my yeller was silent and happy and smiley watching the French movie Emelie with subtitles about identity. And Cate, with all of the naughtiest boys in the entire school? Cate who has been teaching all of three weeks of her life? They were happy and quiet as gurgling clams.

And God is at work. He is not silent.

Stand back and you will be amazed.

And my meditation for the day was from Hildegard of Bingen, the great medieval abbess, who said We should be mirrors, mirroring God’s light and God’s love with great generosity everywhere we go. Love: love is of our essence.

Dear LORD, so be it.