Today has been one of those days that I have to scratch my head and wonder why.
WHY would this be happening to us?
WHY would someone so close hurt you so badly?
WHY would they continue to lie when they were given so many chances to come clean?
WHY did they turn out so different than others from the same place?
So many questions come to the surface that I don’t even know where to start or who to ask, but they HAVE to get answered. I feel sick as I walk through my own home reminded of how the choices they made have now affected me and my family. Even more so I think about my parents and how many times they over extended themselves for their kids, including me, because they love us. Now, as a parent myself, I understand that love, but it doesn’t make watching their heartache any easier.
It’s a day that grace, anger, love, hate, rage, peace, exhaustion and energy combine in a puddle of unrecognizable colors and textures.
A punch in the stomach, kick in the balls, slap in the face, or kick to the head don’t do justice to what we really feel, but they’re the terms we often use to describe the indescribable. I guess it’s to not scare people away or because we don’t want to shock someone with our “concerns”, but today I want to be real. So much of what I thought I understood was in basket that was turned upside down ten days ago, and today that basket was shaken to get the little pieces out that were somewhat stuck to the bottom. For some reason those little pieces are what have landed the hardest, hurt the most and will probably stay the longest. It makes me hope that I don’t have a lot of little pieces that will drop on someone else someday.
So I’ll try to sleep for yet another night knowing that this situation is out of our hands, but I don’t know when it will be out of our heads.
How can members of a former church blatantly ignore someone but say hello to someone else in the group? They even went so far as to hug some of the other people, but not even muster a hello to someone that was very involved in their congregation? Then they even said good bye to one of the ignored’s children as they were walking out right next to them?
These are the kinds of things that make people view Christians as mean, hypocritical and judgmental. If we are truly striving to live as Jesus how can we ignore someone that used to be an integral part of the congregation but left “that” church for a reason. It’s not like they chose to turn their back on their belief system. They simply needed to leave “that” church for a very real and personal reason.
I shouldn’t be surprised because these are the same people that when a painful situation happened; they chose to get one side of the story, and not even ask for the other side. Then turned their backs on the one side AND the person they never heard. Even more shocking to me, is that one of the members of the group doing this ignoring is a “leader” in their congregation.
I truly hope that this isn’t a behavior that I exhibit to others that are on the same journey as me, OR even more importantly to me ANYONE that I come in contact with. I try to be an example of the grace and love that I have been given over and over again…if I haven’t shown that to you please let me know and I’d love to apologize and start over.
There are some very enjoyable parts of time off; sweat pants and coffee until 10AM, catching up on all the DVRed shows, alot of Angry Birds and Words with Friends, many movies and remembering the year that flew by.
Time off also gives me time to catch my breath, love my wife & family, BUT unfortunately a lot of time to think. I don’t always do well filtering the thoughts that flash through my head. I don’t beat myself up to the edge of depression, but I often don’t spend time thinking about the things I’m doing well or have changed for the better. I have 3 more days of my “winter break” to think, relax and enjoy the people in my life. Then it’s back to the classroom, and the 27 fifth graders that I spend my days with. I’m hoping to change the time that I spend dwelling on the what I could have done, and using it to dwell on the things that I AM doing.
So as I take a moment to think, I hope you take time to think about what you’ve done this year also.
There are so many things that I enjoy about being an educator that it’s hard for me to even share them at times without becoming emotional. Getting to share my days with kids that have felt alone and neglected, scared and unsuccessful or even abused and abandoned is such an opportunity to live what I believe. Which is that all people deserve love and chances. Whether you’re 10 or 70 you want to know that someone is out there fighting for you, forgiving your mistakes and loving through the process of life.
All that being said, October & March hold a special place in my heart because I get to meet the parents of these kids that I see everyday. Good, bad or otherwise these parents reveal more about their kids then I think they realize. As a parent myself I know that when I talk about my children and my own life, people get a glimpse into why my kids are the “way” they are. I’m not so naive to think that kids follow exactly what their parents want or show, but even in the worse of situations kids take part of the ones that raise them into their own adulthood. As a teacher I may be with them on a daily basis, or over the course of the school year, more than they are. So I take my responsibility very seriously. Yes, I want my students to achieve academically but just as importantly I want them to understand that everyone deserves love and chances.
As I sit for another 8 hours today meeting with parents, I hope they can see that I give their kids love and chances, not just A’s and B’s.
- Don Chaffer of Waterdeep
My love of baseball, specifically the Yankees, seems to be shared by Don in this song. I could listen to this song daily, and am still waiting to hear them perform it live. Lou Gehrig encompassed so many great character traits that are so far lost in today’s sports world. I would have loved to sit down and talk to Lou about his time in the dugout of old Yankee stadium.