Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. – 2 Corinthians 3:3
The good news we all need to hear, this morning and every day, is that – despite floods, storms, threats of storms, political tensions and more – life goes on from day to day, and the fundamental value of each individual human life remains the most important common denominator.
So, with that in mind, I’m posting another photograph from the beautiful forward progression of life that’s happening in Richmond, Virginia, as my grandson David launches his 13-year journey through school before he turns 18 and begins life as an adult.
That, by the way, will be the year 2030. Pause. Count on your fingers for a moment. Do a double-take. Mouth something such as, “say what?”
I am so pleased that David was enthusiastic to start Day Two. His first day at school, he said, was great. The best things, he told me on Facetime Tuesday evening, were, “The bus, the playground, meeting the principal, and sight-words.”
“What are sight-words?” we asked. “Words you see, and then you learn them,” he responded.
I immediately thought, “What are the words people learn when they see us?”
People bring all kinds of words to mind! “Arrogant.” “Humble.” “Generous.” “Self-absorbed.” “Motivational.” “Drama queen.” “Untrustworthy.” “Good.” “Narcissist.” “Cheerleader.” “Whiner.” “Ruthless.” “Compassionate.”
Others may be bland, or neutral. “Okay.” “So-so.” “Mediocre.” “Place-holder.” “Uneventful.”
I wonder what would it look like to be the visual cue for a word like, “disciple,” or maybe, “servant leader,” “enthusiasm,” “humility,” or “encourager?”
Right now I’m imagining a room full with people I know, with a big pile of descriptive words on a table. Everyone has to pick a couple and tape them under a life-sized photograph of me.
I’d like to think people would choose words like, “loving,” or “thoughtful,” or “open-spirited,” or “inspiring.” But would they?
How about you? If you were a sight-word what would it be?
Fact is, while my grandson David may be in a classroom in his elementary school today, he’s been learning – full-tilt – since the moment he was born. The world is full with lessons, examples, demonstrations, experiments, and teachers.
You are a teacher. What are you teaching the people you come into contact with? I am a teacher. I’m an ongoing lesson, both for hungry young minds and a whole lot of adults too.
The question is not if they are learning, and it’s not if you are teaching. The question is what is it that you are teaching? I guess we can start with some helpful sight words.
Grace. Mercy. Hope. Encouragement. Promise. Love. Light. Inspiration. That’s probably enough to be going on.
In the hope of promise and the light of love – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.