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As often happens, Lori’s post spoke to me.  Our family has known a great deal of stress lately with my MIL’s hospitalization, emptying her house and moving her to St. Louis (in one week), cleaning out my father’s house another week, and my son not getting to go to the college of his choice.

In the midst of all this, I got one of those calls.  Alex needed a ride.  Oddly enough, my son’s name isn’t Alex, but Alex and his older brother are friends of my son. Their mom died this winter and dad got divorced this spring.  Good bye, Mom.  Good bye, Stepmom.  Dad found a new job but he’s working retail hours with retail pay. I found out what this means when I fed the boys mac-n-cheese.  It’s good but it isn’t pick-me-up-off-the-floor good.  Apparently they’ve been living on pizza rolls.

As my grandmother would say, that got my German up.  I’ve fed them three times in the past week and they’re on a weekend trip now with my husband and son. Alex is comfortable enough now to ask me for things himself, instead of going through my son, and even teases me about being short.

Amidst all of this, I made it to choir practice on Thursday.  It is our last practice for the summer because our director may be facing hand surgery.  She’s scared and stressed and it showed.  When she asked several of us to sing solos this summer, I knew how to make her smile.  I suggested songs from the Veggie Tales.

Our choir director had never heard the Vegie Tales so we sang various songs for her.  We learned that one soprano does a spot on Larry Boy imitation. She sang Oh Santa.  Another soprano sang The Hairbrush Song.  I launched into Terrors of the Sea (We’re Vikings). By the time we were done, everyone was in stitches.  Seriously, you’d have thought we’d been drinking if you didn’t know how silly we can be.  Even when feeding extra boys and facing surgery.

God gives us laughter and we’re silly not to use it.  Laugh and feel closer to the God who made me, at 5’8”, the short one in the house.  God really does have a sense of humor.

–SueBE

I love reading all of the PC USA updates on social justice.  Alone, I can only do so much, but working together?  We can do great things all in the name of Him who Loves us all.

Meditate.  Pray.  Repeat.

Working for the greater good. Being the hands of Christ.

Use your mental powers for good!  I’m not saying that everything you experience is “in your head,” but we do have an incredible ability to shift things towards the positive as well as the negative.  Sadly, I sometimes think I do more negative shifting. Fortunately, God sends me little nudges and a wide variety of chances to go positive.  That said, there are things that are just bad and sad such as the bombing in Manchester.  At those times, I have to remember to get out of my head and pray.

 

Take a deep breath and smile.

AugsburgThe easiest way to irritate me is to not listen. Interrupt me. Talk over me. Ignore me. And apparently I’m not the only one.

Early this past week, a group of high school students at a local high school held a demonstration. Their school district, Hazelwood, like many districts is facing money problems. They’ve tackled it by cutting band and orchestra, reducing activity buses, not replacing teachers. Students and parents have tried to attend board meetings.  Comments are closed. Meetings are moved behind closed doors.  No one is listening.

Students came up with a way to be heard.  They went after the district where it would hurt – statistics. Two hundred students walked out of finals. One hundred refused to return to class and were suspended. The seniors couldn’t walk in the graduation ceremony, those with A+ Scholarships (2 years of college tuition) lost the scholarships, and student athletes were kicked off their teams.

Not surprisingly, the community raised a ruckus. Fine, fine, said the principal.  That guy there?  On the track and field team? He can compete for us, representing the school, on Saturday but not walk through graduation. I listened. Are you happy?

Oddly enough, no one really felt like he had listened. They pointed out that according to the student handbook the lowest possible punishment calls for detention. The highest suspension, but students must be informed of the reason and length of suspension in writing, they should have a chance to present their side of the story to the principal and the parents must be informed 24 hours in advance. Although the handbook calls for listening and communication, none of this happened.

The ACLU stepped up and the word lawsuit came into play. This, the principal heard. Suspensions are rescinded but the community is divided between those who think the kids are getting off easy and those who are relieved injustice has been curbed.

The whole situation reminds me of the Persistent Widow (Luke 18:1-8). She demanded that the unjust judge hear her. She eventually wore him down and received justice.

This protest was a long time in coming. The district has ignored parents and teachers.  They ignored students and the community. They refused to listen until the ACLU said “lawsuit.”

If you are one of the many prayerful who is working for social justice or educational opportunities in your community, pray for patience.  Pray for strength. Pray for listening ears. And while you pray, listen. It is the only way to hear.

–SueBE

One world. Many faiths.

Reaching out to those that God calls us to help.  Board by board, step by step.

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