My day began, yesterday, with an email that was copied to my administrator complaining about something I had not done. Not a great way to start your day when you are already at your breaking point.
As I crafted my response, my mind raced with sarcastic and snarky remarks. “How dare she complain about something so trivial? Doesn’t she know how soul-crushing it is to teach in this environment? When I’m finished writing this email, her grandchildren’s children will be afraid to complain about a teacher.”
But the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear, “You know you can’t write that. One, it might get you fired but most importantly, it’s not who you are. Remember what I have been teaching you. You were called to be nice. You were not called to retaliate insult for insult.”
Delete. Delete. Delete. Rewrite. Rewrite. Rewrite.
The pandemic, the racial unrest, the politics this year has had its toll on me. I’m finding it hard to see Jesus in others and if I’m honest, especially in my brothers and sisters in Christ. Yesterday, I shared that I was physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally tired. Which is why I probably overacted to this parent’s email.
I feel like Elijah, “I’m the only one who hasn’t bowed to the craziness of this year.” But just as God restored Elijah, he restored my faith in teaching, Christians, and the power of God’s love. The rest of the story:
In my email yesterday was also Amazon gift cards thanking me for teaching.
My class turned on their cameras and held up thank you notes. It absolutely made my day.
A Pastor, Ive only met in person once, drove 45 minutes to deliver food for our outreach today.
My sister in Christ and her family drove 45 minutes to help me sort clothes for our outreach.
Another Pastor friend hobbled around after having surgery on her toe, to shop, sort clothes, clean out a fridge to prepare for the outreach.
Another Sister in Christ helped me shop, organize, and plan for today.
Many brothers and sisters in Christ are volunteering today.
And that complaining parent? At the end of the day, after talking with her daughter, sent me a sweet note thanking me for making this online teaching experience feel “normal” for her daughter.
Let’s take our eyes off of all the negative things happening around us and let’s focus on what God is doing. Like He restored Elijah, He wants to restore us. He wants to reveal Himself in the whisper.
Brothers and sisters, quiet yourself. Listen. He is in the whisper!
“Then he said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the Lord’s presence.” At that moment, the Lord passed by. A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper.”
1 Kings 19:11-12 CSB