Last week when I went to my students’ first basketball game of the season, a few of them had some problems with muscle cramping. So, I brought bananas for the girls and guys team as a pre-game snack for their game on Tuesday. I sat on the bleachers grading papers as I waited for the game to start. There were some younger students sitting around me, some from the school where I teach, others just from the neighborhood. One of the little girls, Shayna, who I know from my school “helped” me grade papers. 🙂 It was fun to be around elementary aged students- a nice change from my middle schoolers.
There were a few extra bananas, so I ate one and gave out the rest to some of the children sitting around me. A boy about 7 years old, Timmy, was very eager to have a banana. He was so thin! just skin and bones! After the girls team won 31-11 and the boys lost by 3 in a very close game, Timmy came up to me and asked for a dollar to get something to eat. I walked with him to the vending machine and I stood there for a moment, hoping he wouldn’t just get flaming hots! I smiled as he chose the cherry/cheese danish and wondered what else he had had to eat that day. I come face to face with brokenness like this everyday!
Speaking of brokenness, words cannot begin to express the frustration and sadness I feel about some things I’ve found out recently about my students. One day last week after school, Kayla was telling one of the other teachers and I which of the 7th and 8th grade students are drug runners. I had known that some of my students were already using drugs, but it just tears me up that they’re falling into this trap at such a young age- 12 and 13 years old! This morning some of my students got caught smoking in a bathroom. Apparently, they get high before school everyday and today it was just too cold to do it outside. And of course, one of the students who got caught is one of my brightest students!!
It’s stuff like this that leaves me with nothing to say. Yet, it is in the midst of all this brokenness, I see the beauty of my Savior, who’s body was broken for me, and you, and every one of my students! Because of Jesus, brokenness can be redeemed and He can bring beauty. It is by His wounds, His brokenness, that we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). Praise God that he has the final say and that he has plans to create a new heaven and a new earth (check out Isaiah 65:17-25)!! He does not want to leave the brokenness of our world as it is. I particularly love verse 23: “They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the LORD, they and their descendants with them.” 🙂 We have so much to look forward to and I’m excited to be a part of God’s redemption mission!