I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly theme topic. It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together. We welcome anyone who would like to join us!
This week's theme is MERCY.
I was struggling coming up with a theme topic this week, and then I read Katherine Sokolowski's post. Yes! We need mercy and forgiveness in our lives so badly. We are constantly falling short of expectations - our own, others', God's. In our Bible study of Mark, there have been so many merciful things Jesus said, even when those around Him didn't deserve it. He loved them. He loves us. We don't deserve His love and mercy, but we get it anyway.
In Mark, chapter 10, Bartimaeus called out to Jesus as He passed by the blind man in Jericho. He shouts, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" The people around him rebuked him. We talked in class about how they were probably thinking Bartimaeus was disruptive, embarrassing, and improper. They just wanted him to be quiet. Instead of ignoring or scolding him, Jesus calls him over and says "What do you want me to do for you?" When the blind man asked for his sight, Jesus gave it to him, and Bartimaeus followed him along the road.
Yesterday, I had a student who was having a rough time. He was disrupting class, and it was tough to remain composed. I could feel the frustration mounting, and I could feel the discomfort of my class, but then, with a lot of Divine help, I looked at him with mercy. I took a deep breath and asked, "What do you need? What can I do for you?" The pressure that was mounting in him obviously dissipated. He looked at me, sighed, and answered, "I don't know. I'm having a rough day." We were able to regroup, and even though it didn't go perfectly after that, he got somewhat back on track and was able to think through some of the research he needed to do for his project.
In our world today, we need more mercy. Thank you, God, for showing us the power of mercy. Give us the strength to receive it. Give us the grace to give it.
I relate so well to your story of your student. So often, our response just escalates the problem. We need God's mercy, but we also need to recognize when others need our mercy. Your student's trust in you grew in that moment. You were not a teacher to battle, but one to help. Thanks for this lesson.ReplyDelete
Mercy: beautiful word, beautiful choice for SJT, beautiful is your post. Mercy in action--not easy. Thanks for sharing your classroom challenge. God bless you for being merciful to your student and to us!ReplyDelete
Holly, I just read Jon Harper's post on A Very Important Questions about dealing with a student having a tantrum. In the face of challenge, we need to be calm and merciful. The person having the difficulty needs us to understand and get at the root of the issue. I am definitely in need of more patience in this regard.ReplyDelete
Holly, the song you chose is a gentle one that allows peace to flow through my being. Thank you.ReplyDelete
Holly, I love your very practical example of showing mercy. So often we set our day's course in this department by giving mercy in the small things... refrain from honking when someone cuts us off in traffic, waiting patiently in the checkout lineup without making snide remarks about how long this is taking, or, like you, changing the tone of an interaction. Thanks for turning my thoughts to mercy this week!ReplyDelete
Love how you asked...What do you need? What can I do for you?ReplyDelete