Advent: Day 4

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
Psalm 119:18, Revised Standard Version

Anyone who reads Scripture knows that it’s not always an easy task. There are some things in the Bible that are hard to understand.
No wonder the psalmist asks God to open his eyes. He knows that without divine intervention, the words he reads probably won’t make much sense.
The longer I’m in the classroom, the more certain I am that without divine intervention, teaching doesn’t make much sense either.
If I were to pray, then, as the psalmist prayed, my prayers would probably sound something like this:
Open my eyes to see beyond the rude and crude exterior of C-Girl, and to find the hidden gems of gentleness within her.
Open my eyes to ways to meet the needs of my two eighth-grade students who cannot read.
Open my eyes to the gifts that each of my students brings into the classroom every day, even if it is something as simple as a “thank you” or a smile.
Open my eyes to ways that I can reach B-Boy, who pays no attention and who constantly seeks new and inventive ways to disrupt my class.
Open my eyes so that I can get through to J-Boy, who was busted today for having—and using—drugs on campus. He’s been suspended for ten days and stands a good chance of being expelled.

The Advent season is the perfect time to begin praying for open eyes. But if, when Advent ends, so does my praying, then my eyes will be closed again, and my praying will have been in vain. So there’s one more prayer I need to utter in all seasons:
Open my eyes—and my heart—as my journey in this middle school classroom continues into the year 2012, and into the years beyond.

Posted on November 30, 2011, in Advent, Scripture, teaching. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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