Had a hard day today. Trying to work a computer program that is new. On the phone for hours trying to get up to speed enough to teach teachers how to use it. Superintendent came by after school to share the budget crunch we are in as a system. Wanted to put it out there that no one or nothing is safe from being cut. Not what you want to hear when you are support staff. Heavy day. Really…not just a day…it has been a while now that heaviness is encroaching upon me and pretty much everyone I know. Can you feel it in the air? I can. Jobs, relationships, finances, families, all under tremendous stress. It is my practice to keep my chin up and my face to the son. After a day like today, it seems like it is getting harder to do. Until. Gotta love that word today. Until my evening.
First, let me give you some background. Our Sunday School class has been helping out in a trailer park neighborhood for the past several years. We go over and help with yard work, have ice cream socials, pass out school supplies…pretty much whatever is needed. I think we have been there for about 4 years. It is a transient place and each year there are different people around, and a few of the same. Recently, some people helped a family shore up the floor of their place among other things. I don’t know how many people live in that trailer, but it is filled to overflowing. Among the inhabitants is a grandmother that is 76 years old. In a conversation it came out that, she wants to learn to read. One mention was all it took. Several ladies have a rotation set up so she gets lessons 3 nights a week.
Tonight was my first night teaching Ms. V. I love it when my gifting comes in contact with a need. I just know it is not me at that point, somehow there is a flow. Teaching people to read is what I do. LOVE it. To see the light bulb go off, and eyes light up…nothing like it. This sweet woman has such a desire to learn that it stirs me up. She is determined, and that is inspiring. She is not deterred by her speech impediment, or her lack of experience or opportunity. Starting her out with letter sounds, and basic sight words I can tell you it will be a challenge for her. Yet she asks for homework. She reads the little books we give her to her grandchildren. She writes her words and practices her flashcards. She is seeing improvement each week. Hope is flourishing within her. Just unlocking a few words in this secret code that has been forever a mystery to her has fanned the flame of desiring more. She says she wants to get her GED. Now that is something isn’t it? And what do you think her new love of learning has done for those grandkids? I’m not sure, but it would be my guess that she is the pebble that will set off the ripples in the pond. I hear there is another neighbor that wants to learn to read too…and so it goes. Flowing out…hope and light.
I don’t have to tell you what this did for my day…but I will anyway. Brought perspective. Reminded me that even if for some reason, my job is one of the ones cut, there are always places to teach. It showed me that God can use me anywhere, with anyone…and he will. I go to bed inspired by the poor and rejoicing at his constant reminders to me that his ways are so much higher than mine. I just did what I do and he poured out his grace…so so amazing. Just love it when that happens.

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