Most of you have never been a student of mine or sat in my classroom while I taught. During my career, I have always used illustrations and stories to flesh out the narrative of what I'm teaching, whether it was History/Government/Economics in my early years or the Bible in the latter ones. If you are a regular reader, you realize most of these entries are based on personal situations or events from my classes/basketball teams. In the picture above, there is a little girl by my side. That's Isabel. I wrote about her last November when she came to the conclusion that I was/am perhaps the most famous person in the biggest city in Texas, J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans. (You can read that story at this link: http://stevehawley.blogspot.com/2014/11/jj-watts-alter-ego.html) I assumed she would have forgotten when school began this year. Not only did she not forget, Isabel tells everyone around her my identity when she sees me and then she runs and hugs me. When I related this to my seventh period Gospels class of mostly juniors, they were suspect. So, I asked Isabel's mom, Kristina, to bring her up to see us. There is some history here. First, Mom Kristina is a big time Texan fan AND I preached her wedding to Doug, also known as Isabel's daddy! Isabel comes by here connection to me quite naturally!
Isabel and two year old brother Luke, sitting in my lap, visited us last Thursday at 2:05 PM. She was a little nervous about the big kids but she came to the front of the room and as usual, hugged me. I asked her to tell my students who I was and without hesitation, "J.J. Watt!" And what's my jersey number? "99!" The teens became believers while being enchanted by her innocence. The siblings lingered a few more minutes and I asked Isabel what she would be for Trick or Treating- it was some Disney character I don't know. They didn't stay long but it was the best part of my day. You have to love a job where small children are part of the curriculum.
When will Isabel figure out who I really am, or more accurately, who J.J. Watt really is? I have no idea. Will she pass it on to her baby brother, Luke? Who knows? When do the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy cease to be defendable realities for kids? My guess is that it's different for each child. I made this point to my class that they have a weighty responsibility to behave around small relatives or any little ones at all. Some of our older kids serve as teacher's aides and some help coach budding athletes in cheer clinics/sports camps. How do children think? Paul stated the obvious in 1 Corinthians 13 when he wrote, "When I was a child, I thought like a child." Isabel will move out of that stage but for now, I have to be careful with every word I say around her. Jesus taught it was a horrible sin to ever cause a child to stumble. I hope that's what my class took away from their encounter with this four year old who like them, is a student of WCS. But I have to keep my guard up as well. Last night at worship, Gary Keese told me I remind him of that guy in the All-State ads, you know the Mayhem dude. No thanks, Gary. One alter ego is all I can handle at a time!
Applicable quote of the day:
"Innocence is always unsuspicious."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org