Every day in my classes, I give a grade. I encourage my students to add prayer requests to their papers or even a note if they'd like. Many do. Some are predictable, especially of the female persuasion. I can often gauge a child's current life situation by what they ask me to pray for. Several of the young ladies ask me to pray for their future husbands- I like that they are thinking ahead! A number of the eighth graders add funny comments, either to me or my teacher's aide, My, who alphabetizes the papers so I can more efficiently record them. I assure you that I am easily entertained!
Two days ago, our memory verse was Luke 18, verses 24-25, about Jesus and the rich young ruler. The Savior tells the guy who ALMOST followed Jesus that it's really hard to be a disciple if you are wealthy; you know, camels and needles and such. I should mention here that the aforementioned My also picks out what I wear every day and I don't question her judgment. For Tuesday, My laid out navy pants, a white shirt with blue pin stripes, brown shoes/belt/socks, and an orange and black tie from Hendrix College, a gift from previous teacher's aide, Betsy Kelly. One of my favorite students, 8th grader Lexi, must have had doubts about My's fashion sense and left some input for me to read at the bottom of her paper. And I quote:
Coach, you ALMOST match!
Lexi must have been afraid she would hurt my fragile feelings so immediately below, she added:
Just kidding; you look perfectly imperfect.
You know, you might not be sure if that was a compliment or not. Knowing Lexi to be a kind young lady, I am absolutely certain that it is! Perfect- what a loaded word..... and a Biblical one. According to Jesus in Matthew 5:48, we are to be, "perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect." Jesus doesn't say almost perfect or nearly perfect. His pronouncement comes after a series of commands some consider impossible; don't get angry, don't lust, love your enemies. I stumble on those daily and I would guess you do as well. I'm imperfect but through the blood of Jesus and the grace of God, I'm perfect! Funny, that's just what Lexi penned! The thought processes of 8th grade girls can be bewildering to a man but also, sometimes incredibly insightful, either intentionally or not. And so, at least this once, Lexi made perfect sense to me.
Applicable quote of the day:
Redemption is not perfection. The redeemed must realize their imperfections.
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