Friday, September 10, 2010

You never know....

Every Friday, one of my favorite high school English teachers would say to us,

It's Friday. The world is a sudden place. Take care of yourselves, take care of your hearts, and take care of each other. Come back safely to us on Monday, because you are loved in this place.

She wouldn't let us leave the classroom for the weekend without telling us this. If the bell had rung, you knew not to move, because Mrs. Short still had something to say. I remember one Friday, when I was in eleventh grade, she wasn't there, but she left us all business cards with her Friday saying on them.

In a way, it was surprising. Many teachers just seemed to care about what you were doing during the 90 minutes you were in their class, but Mrs. Short cared about us beyond that. She left such an impact on me, that when I decided to come back home to college and had to change my major, the very first thing that popped into my head was English class. Oh, I love to read and write--don't get me wrong--but it was the experience that had stuck with me. She had such a way with us, even when we were bad. She never yelled at us, but if we made her mad, we knew she meant business. Heck, we didn't want to make her upset. We had the most wonderful discussions (even when they were about nothing of any literary value whatsoever). She taught us about life. If I could ever be half of the teacher she is, I would be satisfied.

I guess, my point is--you never really know the long term impact you're going to have on someone. Even if you're doing all the "right" things, you still don't understand the full extent of your influence on someone. You might do something small that doesn't really meant much to you, but that sticks with someone else for the rest of his/her life.

I want to be this kind of person. I don't know if I'll ever be a public school teacher again, but I want to be the kind of person who makes a lasting positive impact on people, whether it's because of my passion for Christ or music or books or writing or breastfeeding or even just on my son. Whatever it is, I want to make a difference with someone, somewhere.

Lord, use me to do what You need me to do.

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