Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sharing without Condition - Belec

Last night God taught me another lesson. I was [somewhat reluctantly] helping one of my students with a project. Admittedly I was a little annoyed with my sweet young charge for he had once again procrastinated and left his assignment to the last minute. My original intention and my lesson plans included helping him focus on studying for an upcoming exam, not running around last minute trying to help him find articles and symbols for his religion project.

"I just need a cross and a bible," he said.

 I racked my brain trying to remember where I saw my wooden cross last. We recently moved and not all the boxes are unpacked yet. The wooden cross on a strip of leather used to hang on my bedroom mirror.I was niggled at having to depart from my plans. Besides, I didn't know where I could find it. And as for a Bible, didn't he have one he could use?

I assigned him [and his brother] a sheet of review questions to go over while I ransacked a few unpacked boxes. Soon I found the cross. I gave it to my student, albeit a little reluctantly.

"Make sure you take care of it." I dished out my orders.

I headed to my 'Christian/Religious' book section in my classroom. Then I saw them. An entire row of assorted translations and options. Good News. King James [new] King James [old] The Living Bible New International Version; The Holy Bible for the Deaf and more.  I selected a nice red King James Holy Bible and handed it over.

"Make sure you take care of it," I said once again. "I want these back."

I found out some paper and embellishments that my student would be able to use for decorating. We tucked it all in the shoebox and we agreed he could finish it at home that evening.  Right now we needed to study for science.

I handed out an assignment sheet to both boys. As they worked on the first two questions, I felt a nudge from God.
"Look at all the Bibles on your shelf."
I looked over at my shelf. Then I thought about the Revised Standard Version beside my bed and the other NIV Devotional Bible in the bookshelf in my bedroom. [It's large print so that I can see it if I don't happen to have my reading glasses handy.]

Our tutoring session drew to a close. Binders closed. Backpacks zippered. Both boys donned their coats and boots.

"You don't have to hurry to return the Bible or the cross," I said. "In fact if you want to keep them..."

The boys looked at me and without acknowledging my words, said their farewells and high-tailed it in the general direction of home.
I leaned against the door and thought about what had just transpired in my heart. God had pointed out there was no need for me to be stingy with my possessions. My irritated self stood silent before God as my heart softened. I realized that I really did not want to lend a Bible to my student because he had not lived up to my expectations.Mistake number one.

By lending one of my Bibles, I would miss it from my shelf. There would be a hole and I might need the version for something.  What if he did not bring it back? Mistake number 2.

I would lend out one of my [many] Bibles as long as he took care of it and returned it to me as soon as the project was over. Mistake number three.

Hmm...sharing conditionally. I resolved to try harder.

And just as God would - God did. Confirmation of my spiritual lesson for the day came a few hours later when I received an email from a new writer friend. And to add a little icing on the cake, my new writer friend happens to be the educational assistant who works with my students in their religion class!

This gal sent me a video.
Never before have I witnessed such joy and gratitude as the people in this video receive the Bible in their native language. As I watched the people hunger for the Word of God, I was reminded about spiritual passion and how I need to step out and share unconditionally - just as Jesus did. And if that sharing means a little wooden cross on a leather strap or  one or more of my Bibles...then I should hesitate, not. Ah yes, God. Yet another lesson learned.

Kimyal New Testament launch in Indonesia from United Bible Societies on Vimeo.
If you can find a few minutes to watch this video, you will witness joy unabandoned. Sheer, blissful, joy. No reluctance; no condition. Just grateful bliss...

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

Ohhhh, Glynis!
You hit the spot (between the eyes -- and in the heart). I don't even know how many English translations and versions I have!

Thank you for these candid reflections of this episode in your journey, and also for the link to the UBS. The video was thrilling, moving, and challenging.

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