Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The fragility of life...

As she was walking back with her class, a student slipped something through the chainlink fence to her sister who is one of my students. The little girl was very excited about her gift. She brought it over exclaiming proudly that it was a flower. In her chubby fingers was a delicate pink flower. The teacher in me saw the opportunity to explore the world around us.

I sat down on a bench so I would be at her level. We talked about the color of the flower and marveled at its intricacies and beauty. I slipped the flower into one of her pigtails and we talked about how pretty she was. My teaching partner took a picture with her phone so the 2 year old could see it. Of course, it did not stay there long before curious little fingers sought it out.

As she took it out of her hair for me to hold, a couple of the petals fell off. She took them in her tiny fingers and looked at them. I was about to discuss the silky texture with her when she ripped them to pieces and rolled up the scraps. She tossed them to the ground and ran off to play, the broken petals forgotten.

I was struck by how her wonder at creation had turned destructive. Without a second thought, she had obliterated a little piece of the world. But I suppose this is how young children learn. What happens if I tear this or cut this? Can I put it back together? My students are too young to understand the finality of death. But I wonder if by destroying things around them, they are unknowingly preparing themselves for the harsh reality of decay and loss.

As a Christian, death is not something I fear. I know what will happen to me when I die. I will see beloved family members and friends again. I will be with my Precious Lord and Savior. But my heart goes out to those people who do not have this eternal security. Are you one of them? If you are, please feel free to contact me. I would love to discuss it with you. Thanks for readi