God found a special way to speak to the heart of a teacher.
By Sheri Wohlfert
Boy did I learn a big lesson this week! The greatest part of the big lesson is that it came from one of the teeniest teachers in the building. The teacher has long blonde hair, sparkly eyes, and a smile that melts your heart. I saw her as just another adorable kindergartner but she was a part of a lesson that was anything but pint-sized and I think we can all learn a little something from her lesson.
How precious is your unfailing love, O God! – Psalm 36:7
For some reason, this sweet little thing high-fives or hugs several of the teachers on a daily basis. She greets us with her giant smile and injects our day with a giant ray of sunshine. The funny thing is, I’m not her teacher. She has no reason to pick me to share her smiles, hugs and hello’s with; she just does it. Every day, she shows up and it just spills out of her like candy from a piñata. There have been so many times I’ll be walking down the hall with my mind pondering a dozen things and she’ll just pop out of nowhere with a bubbly hello and a hug and suddenly anything that seemed important just fades and I walk away with a smile and a little ray of her sunshine.
One morning this week I had the pleasure of holding the door and welcoming the kids into the building; it’s one of my favorite jobs to be the one who gets to start their school day. That morning there were dozens of smiles, hugs and good-mornings. I remember standing there by the door thanking God for letting me be a part of 288 little lives.
My heart was happy as I said hello and opened the door for the last few students. When the traffic slowed and all the kids were sitting in their seats in the gym waiting for morning prayer, I just stood at the door with a smile and as I turned there she was, running toward me and she stopped a few feet from where I was standing and said, “Hey, I just love you so much.” And just like that she ran back to sit with her friends. My heart instantly melted at the sweetness and sincerity of this sweet little thing. While I stood with all my teacher friends praying with all the kids, the lesson hit me like a ton of bricks.
Ya see, I’ve done nothing to earn her sweetness. I’ve done nothing to deserve her kindness. I haven’t asked, demanded, or instigated her joy. She has nothing to gain by giving it all so freely. She really doesn’t get anything “kindergarten fair” in return because I can’t go out to play or sit at the same table and share a snack. I can’t foster a friendship by inviting her over to play or go to the movies so she really gets nothing in return.
And that sweet “I love you so much!” came as a gift to my heart … she took off so fast there was nothing I could say in return. Everything about this little girls gifts is so completely one-sided. As my “eyes started to sweat” (that’s “5th grade boy” for “I’m crying”) I realized that’s exactly how it is with God and me.
She demonstrated what the love of God is really like. It’s always there. It’s never earned or deserved and it comes with no strings or conditions. He loves us intensely despite our fears and our failings. He always leads with love and joy and he offers it every time we greet him. He never fails and he never runs low. He has nothing to gain and yet he lights up when he sees us and he just waits to tell us in a hundred different ways every day “I love you so much!”
Several of the staff at school are meeting once a week to participate in the Wild Goose series. It’s a beautiful video teaching series on the Holy Spirit. (I HIGHLY recommend it!) The first lesson was about the love of God and that class left me praying on the question, how do I KNOW God loves me? He showed me this week with a lesson from one of his smallest teachers. He loves me enough to send a wee one to SHOW me what his love is like. He knew right where to get my heart: through a child. He didn’t send big words or profound Scripture; he touched my heart with his love in a way he knew I wouldn’t miss!
Sheri Wohlfert is a Catholic wife, mom, speaker, and teacher who writes from Michigan. She uses her sense of humor and her deep faith to help others discover the joy of being a child of God. Sheri also writes at JoyfulWords.org.
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