Day 18 - Respect

WHAT’S GOD’S HEART FOR EDUCATION?

Colossians 3:13-17: “Be tolerant with each other…”

Creating space to hear people’s stories is important. Probing and letting people muse in their telling, conveys our interest and respect. But what if the space is loud and agitated? What if a person doesn’t know their story is of value to the community? What if the language of the story doesn’t make sense to the listener?

I’ve spent many times coaxing a student named Efrem out of tantrums, refereeing disagreements between him and kids in our afterschool program and tossing toys he had demolished. I’ve retrieved stolen items from his backpack. How can one little kid repeatedly stir up so much angst and trouble?

Then one day Efrem turns to me and asks, “How old will I be in 7 years?” That’s random, I thought.

I said, “You’re almost 7 now, so you’ll be 14. Why?”

Efrem shrugged his shoulders and said, “Huh. My dad gets out of jail in 7 more years.”

In that moment, I experienced a different Efrem. He’s just a boy waiting for his dad to come home.

Everyone has a story. Children too. Their stories are compelling because they’re often tucked into the randomness of their questions and matter-of-fact conversations. But, if there’s an ear to truly listen, we would hear and get understanding.

REFLECTION:

  1. How can you show respect to a child who looks up to you?

  2. Is there a way your congregation can hear and learn more about the stories of your children?

  3. What’s God’s heart for the Church in your city to honor and respect teachers and students alike?

Margo Fanene White Center (Seattle), WA.

PLEASE SHARE WHAT GOD IS REVEALING TO YOU BELOW! REMEMBER TO SAY WHAT CITY YOU ARE FROM!

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