Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Just 11 More Days

Kindergarten is coming to a close. Soon my students will only have memories of "how fun center time was" (the thing by which they define all "fun-ness") or of how they did or didn't learn everything they needed to learn in Kindergarten.

Today was a particularly sweet day with them. They worked independently as I feverishly DRA-ed (a verb many teachers are familiar with) and as I would send them away saying "Go ask a friend" and they would I marveled a moment at what progress they've made this year not only academically but also relationally.

I say this all the time to my colleagues, but I have an extremely kind class. Not always so well behaved, but very kind kids*.

Kids like...

My one who wants hair like Justin Bieber because his hair is so cool.


My one who promised to write me three different stories tonight because he is a writer.


My student who has written a whole "book series" (re: notebook paper meets tape) on the sequel to Jill from "Jack and Jill" the nursery rhyme.


My student who wants to be a teacher when she grows up and thus informed me that she therefore needs to practice holding the pointer on the board daily.


My student who proves she's been listening by telling another student "That is not approriapte!"

Some days it's good to be a teacher. Especially as summer is coming.

*My college professor would not approve of me calling them kids as they are not baby goats. I digress...

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Response

There has been a lot of talk on facebook today filled with non-violent postings that appear to judge others' more ecstatic reactions to the news of Osama bin Laden's death.

I don't agree. I may not be a famous activist (many of whom I admire) with eloquent words but allow me to explain my thoughts from my Christian worldview.

I am glad this man is dead. He has perpetuated much evil in the world and would be continuing it now if he were still alive. Yes perhaps the LORD would have called him to repentance, but we are not called to guess "what-if" but instead are called to be advancing Christ's kingdom. This is why I work with education in Sierra Leone. And this is why we appoint leaders to help eradicate evil (and to call evil "evil") where we see it. And I believe that God is at work through leaders and nations (Proverbs 21:1), and that through them He does deliver justice and give us relief as we struggle here on earth waiting for His Kingdom.

So when I heard that bin Laden was dead, I was not relieved (God was still Sovereign when he was alive on Saturday), but I was glad and thankful. Thankful for the reminder that sin and evil will not reign victorious forever. Glad that as a Christian I can say "This man's repeated actions against many people of many nationalities and faiths were absolutely wrong and needed to be stopped." And to be glad they were stopped. Now many people were glad that would say they do not believe in Christ. Their gladness and mine speaks to the desire that recognizes evil and longs for something more. A desire that I believe points to the reality of God. This, I might add, is the same feeling we feel when the White Witch is defeated in C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia or Sauron is eradicated in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings or Voldemort is destroyed in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Series.

I was not, however, gleeful or giddy. Instead, I was sobered. Because I know that the only thing that separates me from bin Laden is the grace of the Holy Spirit in showing me my need of God, Jesus' conquering of sin at the resurrection, and the Father's love in drawing me to Himself and refusing to let me wander away toward the evil of my own devices. And the magnitude of this grace makes me feel small. But it does not keep me from naming an evil ruler an evil ruler or being glad that an evil ruler is gone.

Now, I would imagine that many of my friends might agree with me. And I recognize the sentiment of their posts and their disgust at sensationalism. But for my friends that are Christians, I would caution to not let the popularity of isolated quotes on non-violence or post-modernist thinking muddle our call or voice to the belief of absolute truth.

I do think the response of our President is a good one. He talked in his speech about how "Justice has been done." And then gave a reminder to America that we need to love our Muslim neighbors here and abroad.

Let's move forward reflectively in love.