“I have a gift hidden in heart for you. Fine words carefully selected and crafted into a message…that you might smile again!”
I don’t know about you, but I often need a word of encouragement in order to smile again. Significant messages come in different ways, but there are those times when you know eternity brushes shoulder.
I have a husband whom I deeply love. Shamefully, sometimes more for the encouragement he gives to me than wisdom he possesses. I run into his safe arms when I am afraid or overwhelmed. Sometimes I take his wise counsel to heart and other times I do not listen because fear screams louder in my head than his words softly spoken in ear. His wisdom is “The Message.”
Sometimes worry over the future wraps around my heart and mind. When a message comes during these times the impact is greater.
Recently, I received an encouraging thank you from a former student. Sometimes you wonder whether your efforts really make a difference. I was struggling with self-doubt when “The Message” came. Publishing books seemed so far away. The realization that today’s publishing world looks for those with notoriety and a broad platform made me question.
I wept while reading the email because it reminded me why I want to publish; to inspire my students. Then, in a mysterious descending calm, I knew the answer to my question was not nearly as important as this one life changed—once again, “The Message!”
Then when I got to school today, a student handed me some writing scratched on a torn piece of paper.
“Mrs. Luna, I wrote a poem!”
I thanked her and promised to read it after school when the room quieted. After school, I read the poem and once again felt that all too familiar brush with “The Message.”
The words stunned when I came to “In my experience, the most earthshaking things always happen while you are standing there looking on the other way…” Tears filled my eyes. My writing foundation seemed shaken.
I called her and asked if it was her own work and she said, “I was doing my homework while listening to music and it came into my mind.”
I used to think my writing would grow like the vines crawling up and over the backyard wall, but now I know my students’ words grow as runners outside of our classroom.
I may seem brave and “all-knowing” to my students, but I often feel like a scared child inside. And in my frenzy to figure out this elusive mystery called destiny, I fear missing the words of wisdom God faithfully sends to me in the most unexpected ways.
Just when I thought my share of epiphanies exhausted, another timely message appeared. In my teacher mailbox there was a book with a note from my Secret Pal tucked inside:
On the back cover was “The message” I needed to hear. The author tells a childhood tale. Her younger brother was overwhelmed with a bird report he had months to complete but sat at the table the day before it was due overwhelmed. Her father’s counsel, she explained in poetic narrative form, resonated within me.
Her brother was “…immobilized by the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”
So today, I admit emotional static that resists insights. The overwhelming mountain of writing challenges looms before me. Yet I will try to calm mind and heart long enough to listen for “The Message” once again.