Friday, April 18, 2014

Oddly Awed


We had no school today due to this being Easter weekend. As with most holidays, it came at a very opportune time! This is an extremely busy time of the year for me. I am in charge of three school chapels next week and working on plans for my summer mission to Can Tho, Vietnam. Additionally, our Honduras/Haiti collection goes into high gear in about ten days which is fun but very demanding on my time and energy. There are lesson plans to be finalized and regular life errands to run and blogs to be penned. On top of that, I gave tests in all my five classes two days ago and by school policy, they must be graded and recorded on RENWEB, our communication system with parents by this coming Monday morning. So, I spent three plus hours today grading Bible exams. AND I FINISHED!

Grading the tests today, I found something that was fascinating. I have quite a few Chinese students spread out over four of my five sections. A number of them on Wednesday wrote down a completely wrong answer to a question and yet I counted all of the replies as correct. Perhaps I should explain. Part of the test covered the raising by Jesus of the widow's only son in the village of Nain as told in Luke 7. We discussed some particulars of the story and finished with the response of the crowd and how this fantastic news went everywhere in that part of Israel. The question in question was, What was the reaction of the crowd to the raising of the boy? To my amusement, quite a few of the kids from China put this in the blank: 
odd
Instantly, I realized what had transpired. When we took notes, I told them the crowd had been awed. Well, if English is your second language and context is not your strength, that answer made perfect sense! (I should say here one of my American students put Ahhhh!) You know, come to think of it, odd and awed sound almost identical! I can say with certainty those kids had their listening ears on!

As I thought about the mix-up in vocabulary, it occurred to me that there was some irony in the answers. The raising of the dead in the scriptures is an exciting concept to the believer, culminating with the resurrection of Jesus and the promise that His followers will live again, hopefully filling us with the sense of wonder and leaving us awed. But to those who don't believe, that foundational tenet of our faith is strange or bizarre, even odd. Paul, in 1st Corinthians, used the term foolishness in describing the world's view of the crucifixion while the Christian connects it to the power of God. Truthfully, I'm glad we had the glitch. It makes me aware of my responsibility in sharing the good news with teenagers from all around the world and even from different religious backgrounds.  Odd or awed? We all have to decide. It will be the most crucial choice of our lives, no matter our native tongue.

Applicable quote of the day:
"If the English language made any sense, lackadaisical would have something to do with a shortage of flowers."


God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1

www.hawleybooks.com
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com



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