An apple for the teacher, or so the saying goes. Today, however, I receive an apple FROM a teacher. As an educator searching for the key to unlock the mysteries common to emotionally disturbed children, I think she appreciates the prayers on her behalf.
Excitedly, she draws my attention to the corner of her classroom. A new aquarium, filled with brightly colored fish, bubbles with life. This diversion, she reports, brings a sense of calm to the children who enjoy staring at the darting fish.
She then walks me down memory lane, describing the various schools in which she has served. Her ears perk up when she hears my dad’s name. As a counselor in the public schools throughout his long career, she recognizes him and appreciates the connection.
Thanking me for praying and reporting that there have been no major fights in the last week, she asks for prayer that the kids would not “tussle” anymore, either. Preparations are being made for the black history month program. Some of the students feel they are too old to participate in the class skit, complete with costumes. She is asking that they will have a change of heart.
So grateful for the brief yet significant moments with this struggling teacher, I wonder…what other needs lie behind each closed door. What challenges are yet unvoiced? Do they know that Jesus sees their frustration, their desire to reach these children who stumble into their classrooms depleted by enormous deficits, crying out to be loved?
He is pursuing each teacher, while waiting patiently for them to respond. He longs to develop in them an abundance of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. An abundant reservoir of grace. A gift which will meet their needs and the needs of the children.
Perhaps not a Granny Smith apple, but fruit just the same