I was reading a commentary on the book of First Corinthians that started out by saying the book was written for a church that was experiencing great divisions. Some of the divisions were along ethnic lines. Others were divisions in theological beliefs. What is painful is the fact that parties on all sides of the dividing line claimed to be following what their faith taught them.
I believe that teachers are amazing people, who want nothing more than to help their students succeed. The teachers I know have sacrificed everything to work with each child as a precious gift, working hard to identify each child’s strengths and areas of growth. This past 15 months has been especially difficult on teachers, and they have stepped up to the challenge.
Most of the time I would not think that the request was strange at all. “Is it ok if I give you a hug?” This time the question came out of the blue. I had asked for a ride to the airport. After I got into the car the driver greeted me. She noticed my last name and said when she was in high school there was a school nurse who had the same last name. My response was to say, “you must have attended Maryvale High School.” The woman was shocked and said that she did and wondered how I could have known that. I told her that my mother had been the nurse at Maryvale for many years.
What you see is what you get becomes a powerful spiritual formation phrase for a person of faith. It challenges you to not only see the difficulties that are real and present, but also to look at the situation to see beyond the first glance realities. There is the opportunity to ask God to help you see not only what is, but also what could be. Is there beauty hidden in the mess right in front of you?
An unseen voice spoke, “follow the pall bearers…” I couldn’t help but think about how many funeral processions I had participated in over my lifetime. In the silence of the moment the pall bearers picked up the stretcher with the shrouded body on it and led the group of people from the chapel where the Good Friday service began to a tomb in another building, where the service would end, with a giant stone being rolled into place.