what is love?

[This may be a boring post. If that is the case, sorry. I'll post interesting and exciting things soon.]

Today in my literature class we were discussing the notion of conflict. What is a conflict? What happens when we experience conflict in our own life? What happens when that conflict is a global issue? And what happens when that conflict is a personal issue?

These were some pretty deep questions for my young students, especially since they were trying to answer them in English. And yet I was so impressed with their answers. We talked about the environment, we talked about the conflict of "playing computer games vs. doing homework", and we even talked about the conflict of bravery in the face of fear. My 12 year old students are pretty profound!

I'm working through some issues of conflict dealing with relationships. Some people are just so hard to love! I have a classroom full of amazing students and one little punky boy who doesn't care one bit about anything. I have a whole gang of amazing coworkers and still one who continuously annoys me. I work an amazing job but for owners who can't see clearly through the fog of their greed. How...tell me how, do I resolve this conflict?

This morning I was having a stern chat with one little boy, telling him that he needs to do his homework "or else!". And then our eyes met. Looking into his eyes, I saw him for what he really is. He's not just a punk student who is soaked with disrespect and carelessness. He's a boy, he's a young boy who would rather be riding bikes and catching frogs than sitting through 3 hours of a literature class. In that moment all my frustration melted and my stern chat turned into a pat on the back. What is my job as a teacher? How does a teacher see through the conflict?

And what about anyone else? Conflict only seems to exist when you let it be the lens through which you look. Who are we as human beings? I want to be able to see through these facades, annoying as they may be, and I want to see people for who they are--human beings. Are they greedy? Are they selfish? Are they arrogant? Are they lazy? Well...who am I? Am I arrogant sometimes? Am I lazy sometimes? Am I impatient? Am I weird? I can only hope that people exert the patience to see through my troubles. I hope people can see my heart, my true heart. And if I hope for that grace, then by golly I want to learn to exercise that grace myself.

I've always known that the greatest teachers are those who give love and attention to their students. I've always wanted to model that. I never realized however, that there always exists the unlovable students, and perhaps the greatest teachers are those who can patiently love the unlovable ones.


Mom said...

Wow! You are amazing! You have insight way past your years.

Pastor James said...

Yeah, so I don't get on here often, but you are PROFOUND. I'm proud that you're my friend!