About six months ago, I became angry and grieved. Full of sorrow and spit. Some fist shakes. Some trail stomps. And, then God posted on my FB page, "Be the change you want to see." Or, was that Ghandi or Einstein? Hmmmm . . . No, it was God because He was the one I was interrogating: "Why? Why do your people act like this? Why can't my son take a single test home to help him stay at this Christian school? Why is the administrator's hand moving determinedly against accommodations of any kind? Why does she state so emphatically? Why are some children who need much turned away in favor of those who have much? Why isn't Jesus's style of ministry copied? And, how can You let all this happen to hurt children who need help so desperately? You. You. You." Immature stomp and spit and maybe a doorslam.
God sighed and said, "Do you really think this reflects my heart? Have you read the Bible lately?'
And, everywhere I turned I saw verses where He admonishes us to help those in need. I still couldn't reconcile the discrepancy, though, at the school where I taught. They said that resources couldn't be afforded. They said that the emphasis is on college prep. They said that everyone should be taught to the same standard like in this cartoon below:
Sucks to be the goldfish.
And, God delighting in my churning, challenged me to be the change I wish to see. Rather, He kind of demanded it, and "obedience" to what He wanted to work through me became my word. I researched. I threw out some notes to people. I caught others in the hallway. I promoted my fuzzy idea of my half-baked understanding of His steelcut vision. I met with some silence but with lots of encouragment. However, none of that people approval stuff mattered because God asked me to do something about it.
Okay, I got distracted by Facebook, blogging, mandolin playing, coffee with friends, the state of my hair, Words with Friends, career tracking, etc., but I knew that within me, I had to obey even though I dallied fearfully and carelessly at times.
During a part of my research, I came across an organization called the National Institute of Learning Development which trains educational therapists to help kids with learning disabilities in Christian schools. There were plenty of Christian schools who saw Jesus' heart as a model. I cried and rejoiced for their existence. And, I kept revisiting the NILD website because, because, because . . . I was intrigued. As I contemplated what career tracks I wanted to lay down for the future, I kept thinking of God's heart and desire for me. Could it include what this organization had to offer? Something that was also close to my heart?
In the meantime, I applied for a counseling graduate program. However, I kept visiting the NILD site and finally decided, with the blessings of husband, to attend their conference in Orlando just to check them out. An expensive venture. We usually don't do things which are expensive without solid reason, but he agreed, and I didn't balk at the money requested.
I went. I was the lone Missourian. I found nice women from Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and Oregon, in particular. A woman from Boston gave me a compassionate, side bear hug which almost started my rotator cuff injury up again.
And, I found my tribe (as son calls it). When I heard presenters quoting Bible verses which talked about supporting the weak, helping the needy, unfolding the gifts of each child, requiring Christ's true heart in all that we do, I teared up. The conference was about so much more than learned principles applied to educational therapy. I had carried weight for so long about educational options, opportunities, misfires, deadends, for my son. I had the same steelcut conviction that these people had about making Christian education available to all types of learners. Ah and oh.
All through the week and after the sessions, I would go back to my hotel room and cry to release all that had built up in me from hearing such good news, concern, love, and action. It's a good thing I didn't have a roommate.
The week was incredible, and I will blog more about it later. But, God was there in particular people I met as well as in his heavy Spirit, prompting me to enter into His waters of loving mission.
Jump, splash, coral reef.
Amen. Selah for all.