Friday presented one of those moments for me. I was so busy focusing on my first graders that it was not until mid week that I really processed all that had happened in Charlotte in the last week. I still can't wrap my head around it.
On Friday afternoon that Still Small Voice told me to read The Good Samaritan. After reading this parable to my class, we started brainstorming ways we could help our neighbor. While discussing this, one of my boys rose his hand and shared, "My Mom and Dad told me that we have a lot of problems in our city." The worried look on his face broke my heart. At that moment, I knew I had to be a reflection of the Gospel, not a reflection of me, a flawed sinner.
The children's responses were heartfelt. My first graders drew pictures of who they would help and how. Some chose people they knew, some chose strangers, one chose to show compassion to a misplaced moth, and others chose to help injured animals. Each child then shared their picture with the class. They were eager to share their thoughts with their classmates.
I have been reflecting on this moment all weekend. I don't know what my response would have been if I couldn't have mentioned my faith. I like to think I would have brought up the courage of Martin Luther King Jr. I don't know if my response helped to ease the worries of my students. What I do know is I'm so grateful that I am able to teach in a Catholic School.
This morning my pastor told us that there's a man walking around during the protests with a sign that says "Free Hugs." In the midst of all this chaos, this man is giving out hugs. I also didn't know that Billy Graham had sent a response team to help as well. My pastor also pointed out that this presents an opportunity to spread the Gospel. I hadn't even thought of that. It's been hard to get past fear, concern, shock, and worry. He also pointed out that every day is an opportunity to share the love of Christ. We don't always remember that on the peace filled days.
Moving forward, that's what I want to do. I want to be a peacemaker in all that do. I want to be a reflection of Christ's love.
Thank you for supporting me in my calling. Thank you for helping me grow as an educator every day. Thank you for answering my questions and for lifting me up on both the good days and the rough ones.