Friday, October 02, 2015

The Kiss

I was in my room yesterday not long after the end of the day bell rang, getting stuff squared away before I went to work out. The door opened and one of our janitorial staff came in. Our cleaning is contracted out to a service but some of their employees have been with us for three or four years so it really seems they are employees of WCS. This gentleman always calls me 'Maestro' or teacher and I call him 'Hermano' or brother. (My Espanol abilities are very limited!)  He comes in each day about the same time and empties the bag in my trash can, replacing it with a fresh one. To have this make sense, I should note here that the far wall opposite of my desk is perpetually covered with student art work, currently the traced hands of all the youngsters in my five periods. This year, our Director of Curriculum, Gracie Greer, graciously ordered 3' x 5' flags of Honduras and Haiti, the two countries where our student body and staff have helped build and maintain Christian orphanages. These flags now are bookends to the art and remind the students of our project which is based on James 1:27 which says:
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
I'm pretty sure my friend did not realize I was watching but he walked to the flag of Honduras, tenderly smoothed it out, and kissed it. I'm not emotional but I admit the scene was touching. I asked if he was from Honduras and he told me he was. I told him I've made eleven trips there, to Tegucigalpa, Choluteca, and San Pedro Sula- he told me he was from San Pedro Sula. Amazing- I never took the time before to ask where he was from.

Today in several of my classes, I asked my students of many of their parents or grandparents really missed their homeland and could relate to that story; a number raised their hands. I can't empathize as my travels are all about a month or so and I'm not gone long enough to get home sick. In my seventh period class this afternoon, I showed a clip from a German based disco band. The song, Rivers Of Babylon, beside having an infectious beat, is solely on words from the Psalms. The first part is Psalm 137:1-4 where the writer is lamenting the Babylonian captivity. (The last verse is from Psalm 19:14 which we often sang as a family when I was little.) I was struck by the hopefulness of the message which had always struck me as totally mournful. I'm reminded that Paul on several occasions spoke of his yearning to leave this terrestrial ball and truly go home:

"Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.  Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling." 2 Cor. 5:1-2 (NIV)

"Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight." 2 Cor. 5:5-7 (NIV)
We like that phrase, our citizenship is in heaven. It gives us a reminder of our ultimate destination Meanwhile, we live to praise God here below in a variety of nations and languages and under the authority of a wide variety of flags. Some day, those things will pass and we'll have a home where VISAS and passports are not needed and we no longer miss the shores of our birth. It can't come too soon.

Applicable quote of the day:
"Every man has a map in his heart of his own country and that heart will never allow you to forget that map."
Alexander McCall Smith

*To listen to Rivers Of Babylon, copy and paste the link below:

God bless,
Luke 18:1

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