The Weary World

Over the past few weeks of guest starring in elementary classrooms, I have been physically shoved by a first grader who had already thrown two chairs and stabbed another student with a pencil and threatened with violence by a fifth grader who had just enough self control to only press his fists into my arm instead of shoving or hitting me.

By these two and an additional student, I have heard these statements:
“I wish I were dead.”
“I wish I’d never been born.”
“I hate you.”
“You hate me.”
“Everyone hates me.”
“Everyone tries to make me angry.”
“I hate this place.”
And many more colorful and heartbreaking thoughts.

By the grace of God, I was able to stay calm in all of these situations and had help from administration and other educators when the students needed to be removed from the room to assure everyone’s safety.

One good thing about only being a guest star these days instead of a full time classroom teacher is I am only subjected to this for short periods of time. I know it has nothing to do with me, and I leave at the end of the day knowing I don’t have to return the next day.

The classroom teachers who work with these students every single day logically know these statements have nothing to do with them, but when you hear how much you’re hated and how everything is your fault day after day after day, you grow weary, wear thin, and wear down.

And these kids.
These kids live in this state every day.
They are living with so much hurt, trauma, and self-loathing that it pours out of them onto everyone around them.
What do they go home to at the end of each day?
For all their claims of hating school and hating their teachers, is school their only safe space?
Do they look forward to anything?
Hope for anything?
Delight in anything?
How deep does their weariness go?

Where does their help come from?
I know where my help comes from, and I pray it will for all this weary world.
May love and grace flow like a mighty river, fill our empty spaces and heal our wounds.
May we see and seek opportunities to be the hands and feet delivering love and grace and hope and delight.

May the weary world rejoice.

“I lift my eyes up to the mountains. Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121

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