Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words. When we moved to GJ 18 years ago, I was pretty much done with “preachers.” I had just spent many years living with men and women who proclaimed to be preachers in “word” but NOT in deed. I was very broken when I arrived here, but I’m not so sure I knew I was. I filled my life with activities, so I didn’t have time to think about how truly messed up some things were.
Why bring this up now? Great question. Yesterday I was cleaning my child’s room – thinking I was going to throw away a “ton” of stuff. Instead, I was mesmerized by a journal that they had kept from when they were in 4th grade. It was just a standard composition book. But the teacher had called it a Night Writer. They were to take it home and write in it at night. Only the teacher read it and then she gave it back each night. As I found out by reading, they did not take it home on the weekend.
Like I said above, I was broken. I feel like my child might have been too, but I cannot speak for them. But this teacher stepped in not even knowing the impact she was making and started conversing nightly with my child. I never read this journal then. It was between them. But this past weekend I read a few pages and from page one this teacher was encouraging and praising my child. She told them what a great writer they were. If my child wrote about a weekend away, the teacher might ask for more details and my child would write more. It even got to the point where my child asked if they could take it home on the weekend and write.
9 years of Christian ministry living had never made my child feel as loved and protected as they did while conversing with this teacher for one year. I’ve done a lot of healing myself throughout the years; some I’ve written about. But the one thing I am adamant about is the quote I began this with – Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words. My LIFE should be an example. I should not have to spew scriptures right and left at everyone I talk to. My life should be such an example that others want to know how they too can have that peace.
Well, I contacted that teacher last night and told her that 16 or so years later, my child had kept that night writer. I said there is no way you knew what they had left behind in their previous city, but what you did for them, and their life was undeniably God. This teacher is a Christian. But had she come at my child with preaching, my child would have shut her out so fast! This same teacher had my child write a book in that Night Writer and we had it copied and bound and the school has copies as do we.
I want to leave you with this NEVER EVER UNDERESTIMATE the impact you have on another person’s life. Teachers are grossly underpaid, yet they can change lives forever. A simple “I believe in you” goes so far! This is exactly what I received from Ryan (the trainer) when I began training with him in January of 2016. It was ALL positive encouragement. He called me Champ from the beginning. If I made fun of how fat I was, he shut it down immediately. He ultimately taught me how to love myself again. And when we love ourselves, we are unstoppable in our ability to help others.