Whatever you have done
to the very least of my people,
you have done to me.
I have shared often that I spent most of my teaching career with very reluctant readers. Some of these children suffered from a complete lack of confidence. Some lacked exposure to books early on. Poor test-taking skills and the negative behavior that came with failure added to the completely mistaken impression that these children could not learn.
I think each of us can offer examples of the far-too-quick learning of the children around us, especially when they hear once and repeat verbatim something which we wish we had never said. Since my students were no exception in this regard, I was certain that they could learn. They proved me right every time one of them picked up a book and read fluently for the first time. Every time, my heart soared with theirs. This is the good news.
The not-so-good news presented itself in those rare students who were extremely difficult to love. These were the children who somehow learned to bully very early on, who knew precisely what to say to disarm any adult within earshot and who insisted that they could not care less that no one in the school looked upon them as a friend. These are the children with whom I worked hardest for years on end and whose whispered “thank you” was my greatest reward.
Loving God, thank you for allowing me to see your face in my most difficult children. Today, help me to see the same in the difficult adults I encounter. I like your face and I want to see you often in everyone!
©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved