Sunday, November 02, 2008

Teaching Beyond the Classroom

This past week, my mother sent me a letter from an old friend dated thirty years ao. Grammy Jean was a family friend who attended our church while spending the winters in my hometown in Arizona.
Grammy Jean didn’t often write letters. When she did, it was a four page tome tha rambled on as if she were across the table having a cup of tea with you. She shared from her heart, weaving her past experiences, her present feelings and her motherly advice into one beautiful tapestry that made you feel as warm as if you had just finished that cup of tea.

Grammy Jean was a fixture in our family. Sometimes I felt like she could see right through me and knew my inner thoughts! She suffered from a variety of illness and was in constant pain. She never let me get away for a moment with feeling sorry for myself because I had a visual disability. She showed me how to handle the down days. The worse her pain was, the more she would focus on others. She would confide to us, that when she couldn’t sleep at night, she would pray. “If my pain was bad enough to keep me awake, I just figured there was someone who needed me to pray for them that night,” she told me.

I remember Grammy Jean best for the way she was so comfortable in talking about God. I had never met someone that treated God as a personal acquaintance, who talked about including God in her everyday life and decisions. She talked about God like I would talk about a friend. Her prayer life wasn’t just formal requests; she had conversations with God. She taught me to trust God with every part of my life; to stop relying on just myself and bring God into my life as my partner.

Reading over her letter reminded me of the way she blessed my life and helped me grow in my own relationship with Christ. I want to be like her. I want to pass on the blessings that she gave to me. I want to reach out to children and young people beyond the Classroom. I want to show them I care about them and I’m interested in them, I want to have the ability to see beyond the surface stuff to the real person down inside yet I want to show them I still accept them and love them for who they are. I want them to see Jesus in me, that He is my personal friend and I’m trusting Him with every part of my life. I want to move from being just a teacher to being a discipler.

What young person are you discipling? How can you show you care about them and you love them unconditionally? Can they tell that Jesus is a part of your daily life?

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