"The thistle is a prickly flower, aye, but how it is sweetly worn."

Friday, January 7, 2011

Another lesson learned from 2nd grade

Guys, I just have to preface this post by saying that it is truly amazing to me how something goes on in my day to day life and God just steps in and teaches me something about his love, grace, everything.  How he brings to mind different verses which continuously take on more and new meaning.

Yesterday, one of my students was sent home with lice.  Yes, it was gross and yes, I still find myself getting itchy.  This student is just the sweetest little girl.  Every morning I give each kid a hug.  She often comes back for another one.  Sweet little girl.  I haven't pieced together everything about her life, but I know enough to tell you, it's not pretty.  She is not one of my cleanest students.  She often reeks of cigarette smoke, and to top it off, will smell like she's used the bathroom on herself many days.

Yesterday on my drive home, I was thinking about how gross lice is, and honestly regretting the several hugs I gave her.  I was (not joyfully) thinking about how whenever she comes back to school I'm going to have to hug her and not act grossed out by possibly getting lice.  Really not kind, I know.  I would like to blame this on my clean freakishness.  However, it doesn't matter how you look at it, my attitude was wrong!

And then God stepped in and brought these 2 verses to mind:
Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 
* Isaiah 64: 6
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags...

Replace sinners/unclean/filthy rags with words like lice-ridden, soiled, reeks and you basically have the thoughts going on in my head.  I was sitting there worrying about touching someone who may or may not give me lice.  Meanwhile, God in all his love for me (and every single person) looked at us when our sin reeked of worse things than cigarette smoke and dried excrements.  He gave us hugs when our spiritual lives were full of all types of lice and varmints.  He saw the grossest, smelliest, dirtest, most contaminated things about us and loved.  Not begrudgingly.  Not because it was 'in his job description'.  Because that's who He is.  And he went so beyond a 'hug'.  Because He does those things, I know His love.  Really, I know what love is period because He did those things.  I am soo soo soo thankful that God is who He is and that who He is is nothing like me!  I am so thankful that God loved me when I was completely, pathetically fallen.  And that he loved me so much he died so I didn't have to live in that anymore!

This is why I love God.  In the middle of an ordinary day, I can be completely humbled and reminded of who He is.  Oh, I have so far to go in loving others the way He first loved me, but I am so thankful for these lessons.  They bring me so much closer.  I greeted my little girl with love this morning when she returned.  And I didn't have to fake it.  I know that God's love filled me and enabled me to love her despite it all- because He loved me first...

Part of one of my favorite hymns that ties in with this----

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see him there
Who made an end of all my sin.

Because a sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Behold him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I am,
The King of glory and of grace!

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