Tuesday, October 5, 2010

J is for Jesus...and Joyful...

He's always listening.  Jesus, that is.  I spent my 50-minute commute to work this morning listening to the beginning of Francis Chan's Forgotten God, 

in audio-book format (yes, another way to feed my addiction) :)  It brought many things to my mind, but most of all, left me with a sense of God's presence as I entered the day, that I have not felt in a while.  I couldn't put my finger on why I was having such a 'good day' (translation:  Jesus-day), but by the end of the day, I remembered that I had very briefly prayed or maybe even just had the thought:  "I would like Jesus to restore my joy"... Apparently, He was listening.  Nothing was able to steal my joy today, which is a feat, considering the challenges that 12 students with behavioral, emotional, spiritual, and academic issues bring me every day.  I found myself laughing where I would normally be frustrated, and offering love and grace where selfishness usually takes up residence.  None of this is my doing, let's be clear!  The chocolate stash in my desk remained relatively untouched (a must-have for those crazy days) and I went home singing in my soul.  The kids are just so darn cute, honestly, and many of them don't have a single soul who loves them like Jesus would have them to be loved.  This verse regularly comes to my mind, when I look on their (sometimes) innocent faces, and realize how broken and in need of genuine love they are:   

Matthew 18:6 (NIV) 

6But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

"Let me not be the one to cause them to sin, Lord!," I think, as I go throughout the dayBut rather, "May I show them just a glimpse of the perfect love you have shown me, time and time....and time....again."  I do have to leave you with just one 'funny':  I just couldn't resist coming back with a silly response to one student today...I asked him why he was 'gobbling' when he should have been doing his work..."Are you a turkey?  Is this a farm?,"  I was a bit frustrated, but seriously, he couldn't have been cuter.

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