Wednesday, July 23

the Look

I've inherited something from my mother. I'll call it the "teacher look" because I've seen it most frequently in her classroom. You know what I'm talking about. Something changes in the eyes, around the mouth, letting you know that the one giving the look is one hundred percent decided, that nothing will change, that there is a resolute calm and a "no sense in arguing" finality to whatever is expected. When exercised on students, the results can be quite effective. Especially with the young ones.

I loved watching mom in action with her second graders the year I helped out as an aide in her classroom. (we had THIRTY students that year) Working with my mom was BARRELS of fun. She is the most creative, loving, amazing second grade teacher I know. I loved working with her that year, and would do it again in a heartbeat. You know, if I didn't have anything else to do.

If you could see me, you would notice the "teacher look" on my face right now. I am upset. Someone has been rude to one of my friends. Someone who most likely followed a link on my blog and left a rude and very hurtful comment on theirs. And I don't want that to happen again. Ever.

Please tell me we don't really need to have a discussion about how words can cut deeply? How they can leave scars? I think we've all been the recipients of strong words at one time or another over the course of our lives, and we can all agree that harsh and unloving words stick with us for far too long.

In fact, I can still remember some hurtful words that a boy in my class showered upon me in first grade. And for those of you who've lost track of my age, that would be almost twenty-three years ago. When I was six.

More than being upset for my friends, I really am heartbroken that I may have inadvertently been a channel for someone else's ill will. Let me just offer a gentle reminder that anyone's public blog is not the place to express your displeasure or disapproval harshly. The Bible is clear that we are to act lovingly toward others, especially those who are fellow believers.

Today, let me encourage you (as I encourage myself) to shower someone with loving, gracious, and kind words. Words that will be remembered positively and treasured, words that will heal and encourage. Words that people think about when they're having a hard day. Words that really count. Bite back those impatient, unkind, hateful, resentful, loud and nasty words - encourage one another!!

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11
"For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing."

Got any great stories about how God has used someone to speak encouraging words to you, and how it was a blessing to you??


Rachel said...

Oh Jenny,

I'm so sorry that someone was hurtful to one of your friends. Our words can be used for good or evil. I know that I have to, "Be careful little mouth what you say...".

I was recently encouraged by our pastor's wife. I was talking to her about some of the challenges I have been facing with little Michael. She shared some of her own struggles with one of her kiddos and it helped me to remember to stay the course and remain consistent. My pastor's wife is one of the most gracious and kind people that I've had the pleasure to know. She was a wonderful blessing to me when I needed it the most.

Kara said...

That's too bad. I feel I have learned so much and really been encouraged by your friends blogs (which started with Kelly G. :)

Amanda said...

ah yes encouraging one another with songs and hymns and praise...

I can always use a check in this department. :)

TwoMuths said...

uh, yeah, me too, Amanda!!!! Big time!