Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.


O God, You know my foolishness, and my faults are not hidden from You. Psalm 69:6

Remember me according to Your love and for the sake of Your goodness, O LORD. Gracious and upright is the LORD; therefore He teaches sinners in his way. For your Name’s sake, O LORD, forgive my sin, for it is great. Psalm 25:7,10

Jesus taught us, saying: “Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the great log in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take that splinter out of your eye,’ when you cannot see the great log in your own? Hypocrite! Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter in your brother’s eye.” Luke 6:41–42

LORD, what is my confidence which I have in this life? Or what is the greatest comfort I can derive from anything under heaven? Is it not Thou, O Lord, whose mercies are without number? Where hath it ever been well with me without Thee? Or when could it be ill with me, when Thou wert present? –Thomas Á Kempis

And there was a long pause in my prayers this morning, as I considered my wicked ways. And really, today’s Scriptures remind me that in God’s eyes, foolishness is equated with wickedness.

Be anxious for nothing, for can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

And who are you to judge another? With the big fat ugly log sticking out of your own eye?

And last night, as President Obama said farewell to a hurting, divided country, he chose to quote three people: his mother, George Washington, and the fictional character, Atticus Finch. The very same quote that I have chosen for my kiddos to reflect upon in their writing journals today, as they prepare to write an essay about what it means to courageously live a life of impact: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

And tomorrow they are going to read chapter seventeen of To Kill a Mockingbird, and they are going to read how Atticus gently weaves the story of Mayella Ewell with compassion and point of view.

And the kiddos are also going to write a Point of View story, where they tell a moment from another person’s point of view.

One of the students whimpered yesterday, “Mrs. Voelkel, why do we have to write so much in this class. We hate writing. Just give us a test.”

It seems like life would be so much easier if it were just a string of terms to memorize followed by a fill-in-bubbles multiple-choice test.

But we failed the Ten Commandments.

That’s why He came.

And besides the fact that I am getting paid (a few) taxpayer dollars to teach these youngsters how to write, I am committed to each one of them as a human being to walking them through what it means to think. To think deeply.

Just as my Heavenly Father is committed to me, and my thinking.

That it might not be foolishness. Wickedness. That I would turn my thoughts to anything other than what is true: LORD, what is my confidence which I have in this life? Or what is the greatest comfort I can derive from anything under heaven? Is it not Thou, O Lord, whose mercies are without number?


O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me. O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant me Your peace.