Wednesday, May 20, 2015

And Miriam took the boy’s head and laid it upon her lap, and they gazed up together at the sky and the stars and how they shed God’s mercy upon all.

Jesus said: “Everyone who says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven, but no one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will be forgiven.” Luke 12:10

The achingly true humility of Christ. Of Yeshua. Of Him who in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. Of Him who all things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. Of Him in Whom was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

And I confess that several times a day some ugliness wells up in me, and I feel like shaking one of my screaming kiddos and asking, “Excuse me. Do you have any idea to whom you are talking to like that?”

But I am to remain under, even as He remained under. He who did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself. Emptied Himself of everything except love.

Humbled Himself. As we are to humble ourselves. Myself. A choice.

And where did these little eleven and twelve year-old-children learn to react to any and all stimuli with virulent profanity? And I feel so gawky in my affection, clumsily tripping into open wounds.

Yesterday this girl walked into my room during lunch carrying a big box. “Mrs. Voelkel?”

I thought I said with a smile, “Yo!” However she heard a sneer and a “No,” and screamed all of her words all across the patio and would not be consoled no matter how much I knelt down next to her.

And yesterday things got ugly in first period and one of the kids hit the monitor button but by the time she showed up everyone was sitting quietly in their seats and sort of on task. But later that afternoon two kids filled out forms on each other that they had been verbally threatened, so I was told to fill out a report on the incident on who was involved and I had a list of eighteen names including the two normally pretty good boys pounding on the table screaming “Fight, fight!” and how could I have sent all of them to the principal’s office? And what would that have done? So I had talked them down one at a time, and gotten each of them sharpened pencils and evaluation rubrics and trying to live life one step at time, releasing and forgiving and not even noticing when others do you wrong.

But I don’t think that is policy.

And last night I read more of the Asch’s fictional account of the boy Yeshua as he lay on the roof of his house with his face upturned, watching the stars kindling in the sky. Beyond those glimmering lights heaven was filled with its own life. The Patriarchs were there, and David the King with his crown and lyre, and Yeshua closed his eyes to see them better, them and the celestial chariot which upheld the throne of glory, and the Seraphim; he heard the chant of the earth surging through the ether to expire faintly in the far reaches of the sky, and mingling with the chant, men’s tears and supplications arriving at the gates of heaven. And Yeshua’s thoughts returned to the fettering of Isaac. He thought what he would do in Isaac’s place. He tried to visualize himself laden with the wood that was to burn him as an offering. Would he be willing, as Isaac had been, to go meekly to his slaughter?

That my light might shine in the darkness, and the darkness will not overcome it.

And yesterday this little skinny guy hung around after second period and tried to comfort me and sharpen more pencils. No one is allowed to bring backpacks to school the last week so I need lots of pencils. And the thing is about Office Depot brand pencils is that they always break. Even when kids are not snapping them in two and throwing them across the room.

And he is one of those kids who have to move every three months because I am guessing his mom and her boyfriend don’t pay rent. And he has moved seven times since his mom got this new boyfriend. And this is the second-best school he has been in. And he says that everyone thinks he is pretty much an asshole, especially at home. And we had a really good talk about God’s merciful love and everyone’s backstories and he handed me a paper towel to wipe my nose and brought me a melted eegee from a class party during sixth period.

And when I have time I am going to watch the ASCD 2015 symposium of Addressing Poverty as a Sector, as a School and as a Classroom. For the first time in recent history, the majority of public school children in the United States come from low socioeconomic households, according to the Southern Education Foundation.

But until then, I will choose. Humble yourself in the sight of the LORD.

And Miriam took the boy’s head and laid it upon her lap, and they gazed up together at the sky and the stars and how they shed God’s mercy upon all.

That my light might shine in the darkness, and the darkness will not overcome it.