Right now I’m sitting in another woman’s classroom trying to take her place for the day. These children don’t know me and I don’t know them. I don’t know their family of their background. I don’t know what their favorite toys or snacks are. I don’t know how many siblings they each have or when their birthdays are. I don’t know their individual strengths and weaknesses. I don’t even know if they have parents to go home to or food on the dinner table every night.
They have worked on my nerves. They have put their sticky fingers in my hair and screamed in my ears. They have hardly listened to a word I’ve said and they certainly have no concern for the state of my sanity.
But here’s my peace in this small moment: Maybe I gave encouragement to a child who receives none. Maybe i provided a hug for one who never feels loved. Maybe I gave a smile to a child who sees nothing but frowns and scowls.
On days like today, when kids scream and run around and don’t listen to a single word I say, when they yell “hey lady” repeatedly at me, when I make mistakes in teaching them, I sometimes wonder why I’ve chosen to do this. I wonder if maybe this isn’t the career I should be pursuing.
But then I remember that for however brief a time, I’ve had the opportunity to bring joy and love to the life of a child. A child whose heart hasn’t been hardened by the world yet. A child who still believes that all people are good and trustworthy and still wakes up to magical presents on Christmas morning and puts their lost teeth under their pillow for the Tooth Fairy.
I remember my peace: God has placed a love of children in my heart and I do not intend to waste it. No matter how taxing it may have been on my heart or my sanity, I have made some sort of impact on the life of a child. That is my peace in this small moment.