Tuesday, April 19, 2011

From the seat of 3rd grade, the world is not right

Today I subbed for a third grade class. It was awful. I can't describe it any other way. Subbing always reminds me how much I respect men and women who have chosen teaching as a career. This class was full of hurting little boys. At 9, hurt comes out in disrespect, defiance, noncompliance, and a host of other displays that make the sub want to hide under the desk and pretend someone else is in charge.

I believe everyone is born with a sin nature--I see it in high-speed action on the days I sub. But I also cannot help but wonder how these kids would act if they had a stable home life. Parents that taught them how to respect. Parents that required them to obey and gave consequences when obedience was not chosen. How many of those little boys I struggled with today have a male figure in their life that is stable, let alone a male figure of integrity, love, and wisdom? I'm guessing none of them do, and it breaks my heart that this is the norm for a lot of American kids. It breaks my heart that their are thousands and thousands more kids across the world whose turbulent home waters are not subdued by the presence of a loving teacher. Kids who don't get to go to school, don't get fed, die alone and abandoned in streets. It happens. It happens every. single. day.

I'm rambling, and I don't have a direction or a theme. My heart is broken; I am tired. I breathe a prayer for mercy. For me. For them. I beg that in some small way, I will love into the brokenness of this world. Let my every moment speak of You, Jesus, You who alone can heal the ripping wounds that tear so early in a life.

Friday, April 15, 2011

wind up your arm

Psalm 111 begins with this: "Praise the Lord. I will extol the Lord with all my heart."

I scribbled the word extol down in my journal. A google search later, I had the Hebrew word.

Yadah. It means "to throw, cast."

What an beautiful picture. I will throw every praise I can think at the Lord. With all my heart I will cast praise upon praise toward Him. I will launch thanksgiving.

I think of a little kid, throwing a tantrum. He flings every movable object within his grasp across the room and with satisfaction, watches it thud. Now, change the motive. Keep the image in your mind, but instead of stuff propelled by anger, it's flying out of praise. We are flinging every movable object within our hearts toward the God of the universe. It's the motion of praise.

What battles are you facing today? Did you know, dear friend, it is not your job to win them? It is His, the One whose deeds are glorious and majestic (111:3). Your part is only this: Fling. Heave. Hurl. Lob praise onto your Father. Yes, even before you understand all the circumstances. He knows. And this day He ordained for you (Ps. 139:16). He holds. We throw.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

out of the vault

Our camera broke. One day, the screen began to short out at random, breaking the images into little lines. A few days after, I pressed the on button, and nothing happened.

I'd like to blame my absence on the broken camera.

Meanwhile, my Pops found a small Nikon digital camera on eBay. It's broken, but he thinks he knows how to fix it. It cost him $31.00, and we only have to pay for it if he fixes it. What a deal. And what a handy father I have. He can fix all manner of things, from roofs to plumbing, cameras to bicycles. I had the thought the other day that we could buy a broken flat screen TV. Aaron looked at me, puzzled. "It would be so much cheaper, and my dad could fix it!" I crowed. I don't actually know if he could, but Dad, since you're reading...what do you think?

In lieu of recent photos, here are some from the annals.

Aaron and I the night before our wedding

Abby and I at the petting zoo

An outtake from our engagement pictures

My nephew is a puzzle-working prodigy

Once on a date night, we ended up at Lowe's (this happens more than you might think) and we decided to measure our height with the ruler on the floor.

Road trip scenery

The thunder's cracking, the rain is drizzling, and my eyelids are drooping. It's off to bed. Why is falling asleep to the sound of rain so comforting?