|Graduation caps tossed into the air ~ Google image|
For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Romans 14:18-19 (NASB)
The school year has ended and the last chords of pomp and circumstance have faded away. It was a beautiful day for the graduates to toss their caps into the air. When I returned home from the ceremony, I made myself a glass of iced tea and headed for my favorite spot in the backyard. I had a stack of a hundred plus papers to read. No, they weren’t more papers to grade. They were the notes my students wrote to me on their last day in class.
I will say, as we say in the South, they “did my heart good”. And I treasure and will treasure my students’ messages. They got me to thinking about accomplishments. I’ve had a few in my life that the world recognizes as “significant”. The cords I wore at my multiple graduations have for the most part lost their meaning to me. When I think of these letters from my students, I wonder whether those other accomplishments have any real significance at all. To me, these words mean so much more.
Even though I already knew it, it’s nice to read that I was a favorite. But what pleases me even more is to read that so many students thought they were my favorite.
“I was your favorite student.”
“With love from your favorite student.”
“You don’t have to say it ‘cause I know I was your favorite.”
It’s good to feel like a “favorite”.
We should all have a person who sees the best in us despite “in your face” realities ~ despite acne and deficient hygiene, despite missing homework and mistakes.
We all need someone who can set us to believing in the goodness and the possibilities in ourselves ~ through little conversations now forgotten, smiles that proved I notice, encouraging words that say I care.
We all need at least one person who will confirm that our outlandish dreams are plausible ~ one person who will dig deep to plant seeds of beauty and hope in the rich soil of our hearts.
“I always looked forward to coming to your class.”
“You brought peace to my day always smiling.”
“To the one teacher who cared how my hand writing is.”
“I learned French but you taught me so much more.”
“You’ve spoken nothing but good things about me and that truly means a lot.”
“You believe in second chances.”
“Always remember me. I will either be reporting on the news or traveling the world and visiting different countries.”
“Don’t forget how important you were/are to me.”
Happy tears filled my eyes as I read their farewell letters. It may sound a little “cheesy”, but I’m happy that I was important in the lives of those young people. To me, more than an endearing accomplishment, it is one with enduring significance. I don't think I ever realized that so much as I do now.
That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. Ephesians 1:12
My favorite corner of the yard
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