I optimistically volunteered to sponsor the school bulletin board for term four; you know, the one that’s in the middle of everything that everyone can see, no pressure. I envisioned a detailed timeline of the Civil War complete with pictures and dates and original artwork. Unfortunately, the project never materialized the way I envisioned it. There were too many gaps. It just wasn’t bulletin board worthy.
However, there were a couple other projects and activities that we had recently completed that lent themselves to a nice display – projects for which the students were required to research the histories of their hometowns and their state flags.
In most schools, this might be a pretty boring project as the students would presumably be all, or mostly, from the same town. However, here at Cookson, it turned out to be quite diverse. I had students who claimed Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, Indiana, Texas, Washington, Oregon, and (of course) Oklahoma as their home states.
And that reminded me of one of my favorite verses: “Who dares despise the day of small things …” Zechariah 4:10a.
Some days, all I can do for my students is provide love and encouragement and teach them participles and conjugations, presidents and politics and economics. I can’t help them integrate into their new families. I can’t help them work through the hurts of the past. What I can do seems so small.
But, the hometown project reminded me that things that seem small, like our modest ministry in tiny Kansas, Oklahoma, aren’t really so small. We have students in one class from 8 different states! When they go from here, just think of the diversity of influence they will have; young people all over the country who have experienced healing through the grace of God, who have experienced love in a family setting with a mother AND a father, and who have been taught to view the world through the lens of the Bible.
This isn’t small. All the small things that happen in the classroom, the hallway, the home, the counseling center add up to something quite special.
I live for the small things and I pray for the big things to come.