I sat alone eating at the back-to-school staff breakfast. I was alone because the few friends I have left in the district hadn't arrived, yet. Plus, most of my "school" friends have retired and left me behind. I also may have sat alone because I’m a big ole grump in the mornings and shouldn't talk until about 10 a.m.
A couple of young teachers appeared before me and one said, “Oh, Miss Teresa (she’s always called me that) is eating alone. Can I sit with you?” They sat across from me and we had a great conversation about her first classroom assignment in the district, decorating her room and then (both) reminiscing about their high school days. The one that calls me Miss Teresa turned to the other teacher and said, “Did you know that I was one of her office helpers?” (This was when I worked as the high school principal’s secretary.) The other teacher said, “I wasn’t but I went to the office to bug her a lot.”
My icy heart melted.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV)
I could tell that they had “feelings” for me, and me too, for them. I've encouraged them both, more than once, to teach in our district. I must admit that when I come in contact with any student, they forever leave an imprint on my heart. But these girls were more. One young lady was a part of my son’s graduating class and the other my daughter’s graduating class. The imprint was bigger.
Over the years, I’ve had various students who remember me taking care of them and saying that I was this or that--always good stuff.
Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14 (NIV)
As I grow older, I’m changing. I have no patience for nonsense any longer. I am grumpier past my regular morning grump hours. I struggle with loving others as God needs me to do. Frankly speaking, it's not always easy to love other humans, but people need love, even if they seem unlovable. And not only this, our actions toward each other should show love.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)
There is good reason for God's commandment to love others. We are his eyes, ears, arms in all things.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 (NIV)