Thursday, December 25, 2008
“A LITTLE CHILD SHALL LEAD THEM…”
On this Christmas morning, a day when Christians honor a frail, defenseless child born in a barn, it is fitting that I give a little thought to the middle school children whom I teach. Because they are, in many ways, frail and defenseless, it is my duty to protect, instruct, and lead them, but it’s also essential that I honor them. What makes the mystery of Christmas so extraordinary is that it’s all about the power of a child to show the way to peace and fulfillment. It’s about children, not adults, being the teachers, and about how important it is for we adults to sometimes sit quietly and listen to the wisdom of children. In my own English classroom, I’m 'the teacher', but I'm also a student. I plan lessons and give directions, but I also learn lessons and take directions from my students’ youthful level-headedness and sagacity. Truthfully, they teach me as much as I teach them. When I again read the story of the wise scholars from the East journeying to give reverence to a child lying in a farm animal’s stall, I nod my head in understanding. I’ve been there. I’ve seen the glory that shines in the unadorned wisdom of children, and I honor it.