A steaming mug of coffee in my hand, I drove the early morning highway south. I'm not usually on the road quite as early as I was today but I was meeting two colleagues at a car pool and had a drive of ten minutes or so to get there.
As I drove into the new day, with a pale full moon hanging in the blue sky above, I passed the rich farm land that is the Holland Marsh. The roofs of the small, neat houses of the community of Ansnorveldt poked up through a morning mist that hung over the fields, looking like the lost city of Atlantis, surfacing from the ocean waves.
Although part of me was noticing, appreciating and absorbing every detail of the passing scene, my mind was preoccupied with a comment left on my blog post of today. I had hastily read it as I prepared to leave the house and I'd had no time to respond. I'd been so taken aback at the contents of the comment that I didn't even know what I would have said.
My friend Poppy, mother of my 14 year old godson, Jacob, had left the comment, relating an incident between Jacob and his French teacher.
Jacob, a gifted student, a handsome boy, with a head of glorious, thick, curly, red hair--is polite, gentle, and still gives me heartfelt hugs at the drop of a hat. Most of all I love him, so when I read that his teacher had told him he couldn't wear a necklace I had given him a while ago, and which he had never taken off, I had strong feelings.
The necklace is made of black leather and has a crudely fashioned, squared nail hung from it. It's a cool necklace, made for teenagers who want to wear a symbol of their faith in Christ. Not the kind of thing I would have expected a teacher to consider a potential weapon. But that is what happened. I won't repeat the whole story, as it can be read in Poppy's comment on the blog, but I experienced a gamut of emotions--disbelief, anger and scorn. I know--not nice--but I felt them all.
I considered going to the school and asking to interview the teacher. I fantasized telling her I wanted to write and article for the paper on the issue. It wasn't so much that I wanted to take the time to write an article, as I wanted to make the teacher scared. Ouch! What had I written about just last night? Wasn't it about actually turning the other cheek--living according to Kingdom teachings?
Fortunately for Jacob, his mom got to him before his godmother. She did speak to the teacher, but she also did a wonderful job of guiding the boy we both love, toward being a man who follows God in action as well as words. This is what she wrote:
He was angry and thought it was stupid. I told him what I thought: that when Jesus went to that cross and was pinned with the real nails 2000 years ago, he went wordlessly. That if an unbeliever wore that necklace or a cross or any other Christian symbol, that it would have no meaning whatsoever, because it's not the symbol it's the relationship it symbolizes that is important. And that Jesus wants us to submit to authority-that's God's way-His will is best carried out His way. And that I would like Jacob to apologize to his teacher for lying to her (he had hidden it and carried it under his shirt) and being willful. And tell her the reason he is sorry is because the One he wears the necklace to remind him of would want him to do all these things. Jacob agreed. He's going to talk to her on Monday. Even out of sight, that necklace is going to be used for the Lord's purposes.And the reason why is simple-the God of Jacob;)gave us a model to emulate.His word shows us His ways and how to walk in them.And when we do the Lord's will--will be done.I'm so thankful to God for illuminating the wisdom of His ways to my son.As for my son, I'm so proud of him!
I am proud of both of them and challenged once more to live what I believe. I'll be looking out for the next test.