Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sticks and Stones

I had a rock thrown at me. And I deserved it.

Yesterday, I had to reprimand a student for not following a class rule. I gave him a consequence. He didn't like it and I guess he didn't really understand. When he went home that evening he reported his version of the events to his parents. Then I got an email.

It actually wasn't a big deal. Mom pretty much figured what had happened and was totally supportive. The problem was that her son told her he didn't feel as though he could have approached me about it because he thinks I seem stressed out. And apparently he has discussed this with some of the other students and they feel the same way. Ouch.

As soon as I read the email I felt ashamed. And embarrassed. I was ashamed that my students felt that way. I was embarrassed that someone, worse, a parent, called me on it. I know I am only human, but that hurt my pride. Furthermore, I knew full well that I was guilty of being short tempered and cranky as of late.

I left school and on my way to pick up David from his school I spent some time thinking. A song was playing in the car that made me realize that though a stone was thrown at me (rightfully so), I was a stone as well. Being a rock means that by nature I am rough and ragged. Just as my students saw me lately. But, God is the flowing water of the river that smooths me as it flows over me. Sometimes the water is cold. Sometimes wild. Sometimes high. But the river is never dry. And like water changing a stone, the process takes time.

The song is "River God" by Nichole Nordeman. Here are the lyrics:

Rolling river God
Little stones are smooth
Only once the water passes through
So, I am a stone
Rough and grainy still
Trying to reconcile this river's chill
But when I close my eyes
And feel You rushing by
I know that time brings change
And change takes time
And when the sunset comes
My prayer would be this one
That You might pick me up
And notice that I am
Just a little smoother in Your hand
Sometimes raging wild
Sometimes swollen high
Never have I known this river dry
The deepest part of You
Is where I want to stay
And feel the sharpest edges wash away

Thank you, God, that in Your hand I am smooth and perfect. Thank you, God, that though I may be viewed as rough and ragged by the world, I can always be softened and smoothed by Your hand, Your love, Your grace.

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