“See if I don’t open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams.”
-- God, in Malachi 3:10 (The Message, Eugene Peterson’s translation of the Bible)
I don’t usually stand and stare during English class, giving appreciative thanks, but perhaps I should every so often. After all, “heaven”, which to me is just the infinitely supportive and benevolent universe, is bringing me and my students inexpressible blessings second by second. It’s as if we are working beneath some kind of cosmic airship full of gifts for all of us, gifts that are given with lavishness as my classes and I carry on our academic duties. We get the gifts of good thoughts, innovative feelings, surprising wonderings and musings, the greatest of reveries and notions and bright-shining beliefs, even stray, skittish thoughts that skip through our minds and are away again. My classes may sometimes seem like silent ships on a sea of dullness, but there are blessings always born anew in the midst of them. Even the changing sky outside, and the birds bringing their sparkle to the feeder, and the seed falling sometimes to the grass, and the old, exhausted, but now newly-growing grass, which some students by the windows can see – even these are presents for us from every present moment. And if all these are absent, my students and I always have sunlight of some sort looking in at us, smiling in its bright or gray way, giving us again a reminder that we live lives of the most implausible splendor and fullness, even when we are working our way through the gloomiest of grammar lessons.