Sometimes I am amazed at the lessons my sixth graders teach me. I knew that teaching would be a rewarding profession, but I don't think I really understood that concept until this year. One of my students today taught me a lesson that I have been trying to make myself understand for the past couple of months. I'm sure she has no idea at the impact she had on me today.
I have mentioned before that the girls in my small group are currently reading Shane Clayborne's Irresistible Revolution. It is a very challenging book. Not challenging to read, but challenging to apply to my life. He challenges us as Christians to literally give up everything we have to the poor. It's what Jesus commanded us to do, so therefore we should do it. Talk about a struggle for this middle class, everything - handed - to - her girl. Obviously I am still working on this. I am still working on giving my time and talents (along with money) to people whom need it.
Teaching is an area that I feel like I make a difference. It's an area where I feel like I am using my talents to help others. However, sometimes I think God puts kids in my class to show me how to live my life. In Irresistible Revolution Shane talks about his experiences working (and living) with homeless people in different parts of the world. He talks about their willingness to share everything they have with others. People that have nothing (in America's standards) willing to share the little they have..what a concept. Puts my "sharing" into perspective. After all, I live in America and have been taught that anything I earn is mine. Period.
I am still trying to work on and grasp the concept of sharing everything I own. Everything I own truly belongs to Jesus so why should I not be willing to share. Easier said than done.
Today, one of my students showed me what it means to share even when you have little. When I walked into the classroom after greeting students in the hall there was this on my desk...
I know what you're thinking "Cool, a stuffed animal that says it's a boy. What's so life changing about that?!" A pretty legit question, unless you know a little bit about my students. I work at a school that has a pretty high poverty rate. Most of my kids don't have a lot. This girl in particular that gave me the gift doesn't necessarily have
a lot many material possessions or money (she is a very generous girl with lots of talents to offer). That is why this gift was so important. She is literally SO excited about Baby G, that she felt it necessary to get me a present and card that told me how excited she was. She told me that she should have given it to me a while ago, but didn't have the money until now. And she chose to spend it on me and Baby G.
Giving to others at it's finest. From an 11 year old.
Sometimes I question why I'm so selfish with things I own. Why am I so selfish with our money? Why am I so selfish with my time? Why am I so selfish with my material possessions? And most importantly, what am I doing to change how I live my life? I'm sure Jesus is asking the same questions as he looks at my life. I think Jesus was trying to show me what sharing with others looks like today. I don't think this girl has any idea what she taught me. Something much more important than I could have ever taught her.
Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself call out and not be answered. *Proverbs 21:13*