Readings: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14, Revelation 1:4b-8, John 18:33-37
The kindergarten classes had a field trip to the pumpkin patch and farm. One of our daughter’s students came to school without a coat and wore sandals. It was rainy and 45 degrees. She grabbed the extra rain boots she bought to have on hand in class for her, and zipped her own coat on the shivering little girl. The bus pulled up and our daughter saw that the special seat it was supposed to come with was missing. The bus driver said he forgot, but he’d send for another bus for the boy with special needs and it would arrive in about an hour. “The field trip will be half over by then,” she said. “He should ride with his classmates.” So, with his mom’s permission, our daughter sat next to her kindergarten student and put her leg across his so he couldn’t wiggle off the bus seat. He proceeded to lick her pant leg and the bus window for the fifteen minute ride as a coping strategy to contain his excitement about the trip. The little girl wearing teacher’s coat danced around the farm, so proud to be wearing it. Everyone got to choose a pumpkin and feed the goats and learn about farm life. That’s our daughter’s goal and perspective - each student, whatever their needs, has a right to be educated and be a part of their class. Including every student possible changes the “belonging and valued” perspective of the special ed students, regular ed students, parents, the other teachers, and the administrators at the school. Even the district is watching…will this be the kindest and most accepting community of students to come up through that Oregon school district? Changing attitudes and perspective isn’t easy. It takes hard work, determination, love and sacrifice. I heard someone on the radio say, “I should pray to see my life through God’s perspective.” How is that possible? God says in Revelation, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” We can’t often have His eternal time perspective, and humans, even if they act it, are not Almighty. We can be mighty with His help though, and passionate about the work God gives us. We can sacrifice a little so everyone can go on the field trip. It’s not about the farm field trip really; it’s about learning and belonging, perception and perspective, life choices and sacrificial love. Have you ever wished you could change the world? Feel free to start small - share your coat, comfort a little one with Down’s Syndrome, volunteer somewhere, teach your kids or grandkids about kindness and rights and righteousness in Christ. Just see what the Almighty can do with your new perspective as you focus on the needs around you through God’s eyes. I’m so thankful for my wonderful family, and I’m thankful for you, members of my church family. Thanksgiving blessings to you and your loved ones!