Category Archives: praying

Advent: Day 11

Lord, all my longing is known to thee, my sighing is not hidden from thee.
Psalm 38:9, Revised Standard Version

There are times when I long to do something else besides teach. Why should I be stuck in a classroom with recalcitrant and surly middle-school students day after day, when I could be doing something much more exciting?
For example, one of my longings is to become a tour leader. I have fallen in love with Mexico, and one little-known city in particular: Zacatecas. I long to take groups of people to this wonder-filled silver-mining city and introduce them to the local culture, customs and climate.
It seems odd that I have developed a fondness for Zacatecas, because my trip there in June was, in some respects, a disaster. First, someone stole about $300 from my hotel room. Then I caught a nasty case of Montezuma’s Revenge from some fresh figs I bought from a street vendor. As a result, a private tour that I had scheduled to visit some nearby ancient ruins had to be cancelled because I was forced to stay close to the bathroom.
Still, there is something enchanting about this little city nestled among the hills in north central Mexico.
Perhaps it is being able to wander the labyrinthine streets and the little callejóns, knowing that sooner or later all ways lead back to the cathedral.
Perhaps it is the magnificent view of the city from Cerro de la Bufa, high above the houses and shops.
Or maybe it’s just the friendliness of the local toward a gringo who speaks only enough Spanish to ask how much something costs.
Whatever it is, I sigh when I think of Zacatecas, and I long to go back to that enchanting city again and again and again.
God knows my longings, God hears all my sighs, and perhaps sometime my longing to lead tour groups to Zacatecas will become a reality.
During this season of Advent, however, I am learning the contentment of prayer and the grace of offering all my sighing and longing to God, in whom I live and move and have my being.

Praying in My Classroom

Wordle 16

A pilgrim looking for miracles,
I move from desk to desk,
reading the notes my students scribble
in their composition books,
their tender words
crawling across the page like lizards seeking light.
One of them writes of how he swept the horse stalls
before filling them again with fresh straw.
One writes of cement gushing from the chute of a truck—
the foundation for the family’s new home;
another of an early morning walk with his flock of sheep
before the sun ignites Tsé Bit’ A’í and it becomes
a fiery winged creature rising from the desert floor;
another of the rusty nails that pierced both his heels
three summers ago
as he scampered across a pile of old lumber behind his hogan—
he says you can still see the scars;
still another of how she torments
her younger sister without mercy—
“There’s something cruel in me,” she writes,
“and it wants Kelsey to hurt, hurt, hurt.”
And I pray:
Dear God,
even the prophets were not blessed like this!
I am standing on holy ground.
Do not remove my feet from this place
now or ever.

© 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

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