Monday, September 14, 2015

I repent in dust and ashes.

Your praise, like your Name, O God, reaches to the world’s end; Your right hand is full of justice.  Psalm 48:6

What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.  He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man. Ecclesiastes 3: 9-12

O Lord, You ask nothing else than my simple presence, my humble recognition of my nakedness, my defenseless confession of my sins, so that You can let the rays of Your love enter my heart and give me the deep knowledge that I can love because You have loved me first, that I can offer acceptance because You have accepted me first, and that I can do good because You have shown me Your goodness first. Please, Lord, help me love You freely, boldly, courageously, and generously. Amen. Henri Nouwen, A Cry for Mercy

O God, because without You we are not able to please you, mercifully grant that Your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule my heart; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

His promises are big promises: to the world’s ends, everything made beautiful in its own time, eternity into man’s heart, beginning to end.  And really I have but one response to Him and His question: Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.

And Job answered: Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.

And today, I prayed to remain quiet, simply present.  Mindful of His great mercy. That the rays of His love enter my heart, pierce the fog of mistrust and give me the deep knowledge of His first-loved-me so that I would walk in His love, deliberate step by deliberate step.

And really the day was not so much a deliberate step. My co-teacher ate bad sushi last night and called in sick, so I covered a jillion classes. And let me tell you that positive reinforcement works miracles in the lives of ornery thirteen-year-olds.

I am a science teacher, right? So today I conducted a test on my ever-present subjects. Yes, I even tell them that they are my rats in small cages awaiting my whims. So this kid gave me nothing but grief last week. And he got in BIG trouble on Friday and spent the whole day sitting at a desk in an empty hallway by himself. And today I found him there again, You know Miss, I just told this girl that no one gives a rip about her problem.

But he actually raised his hand in class, almost by mistake, and gave a pretty decent answer, so I wrote his name on the board and put a big smiley face next to it and said that was a good phone call home.

And pretty much his behavior was nearly impeccable, all day long. Long class after long class of math, history, science, Spanish, enrichment and study hall. Miss, are you going to call home today, and say how good I’ve been? Well, almost. Man, once I was standing about four inches away from him trying to explain what an outlier was and HE WOULD NOT STOP TALKING. And I came pretty close to blowing up and shaking him and whatever, but pretty much every day in chapel we are reminded that whatever we do to the least of these, it is like doing it unto Me.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.

Lord, help me love You freely, boldly, courageously, and generously. Amen

May I love You. Freely, boldly, courageously, generously. And full of joy, with no distrust. 


And Job answered: Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.