There are little ones who leave an impression on you. Angelle was one of them. She moved to another school several years ago and left a big hole in our collective hearts. This is from February 22, 2007.
I saw her in the student pick-up area after school today, almost by mistake. When eighth period ended, Jackie left her camera on her desk and I went looking for her. That's when I ran into Angelle. The sister of Ruby, one of my middle school basketball players, Angelle is a first grader and absolutely fearless. She hugged me and we talked about her singing performance in last weekend's Westbury Christian talent show in which she took home first prize. (I am no judge of talent but I couldn't believe the stage presence of that little girl.) Angelle proceeded to inform me that Ruby, who was standing there, spends too much time on the phone when she should be studying. (I think the word she used was distracted.) The highlight of our conversation came as Miss Angelle asked me a very direct question; she wondered if I might want her autograph? Who wouldn't? I told her if she would just bless me with her signature, I would affix it to my classroom door. Without hesitating, Angelle cracked open her Hannah Montana DVD, pulled out a scrap of paper, and with a little assistance from Ruby, very carefully penned her someday-to-be-famous name. She apologized that her cursive wasn't very good. Ruby and I agreed it is superior to most of our eighth grade boys! You know where that piece of paper is already taped; it is currently displayed on the entrance to Room 258. I'm not sure how long I can hold out. E-Bay will be calling shortly!
How on earth does a six year old have the confidence of a seasoned celebrity? I teach high school students who struggle to look me in the eyes or ask for missing homework assignments. Angelle could give lessons. Maybe its partly inborn but I also believe the root of her self-esteem is that her family treats her in a manner that shows Angelle she is a wonderful child. She acts like she knows she is loved because she is. What a contrast to so many Christians who live their lives in fear and self-loathing when it comes to a relationship with the Father. Hebrews 4:16 speaks of the availability of God to his beloved children:
"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
Angelle is comfortable with me as well as other adults because even at six, she understands we have her welfare at heart. Shouldn't we be the same with our Lord who loves with us with all his unfathomable being? Angelle has it right; more of us need to get on her level. We have some growing down to do.
Applicable quote of the day:
"The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org