April 9, 2019
Prayer: Oh Lord!! Please help me do the right thing today. Help me see what wisdom is. May I help turn an angry heart by a gentle word or a prayer.
Scripture: A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1 NRSV
The parent sat stiffly in the waiting room of the principal’s office, anger distorting her normally attractive face. Her arms were folded vise-like as she looked straight ahead. It was during my free period, and I just “happened” to stroll into the office to check on some supplies. Her body language immediately caught my eye and I stood at the office counter, stalling for time. Even though I had never set eyes on her before, I wanted to approach her, but I didn’t know how, or even what I’d say to her.
I sent up a quick prayer as I realized I was about to do something very impulsive. I walked over to the parent and whispered into her ear, “May I speak with you privately?”
“Yes,” she said, startled. ”But it can only take a minute. I’m waiting to speak to the principal.” Once outside the office, I introduced myself, and glancing at the cross which hung around her neck, I asked if she were a Christian. Yes, she was, she replied, and a very upset one at that!
“I’m a Christian, too,” I said softly. “I don’t know why you’re here, but I do know you’re extremely angry. Do you want to talk about it?”
She accepted my invitation to talk. Turned out, she was angry about the threat that her child would receive a failing grade in music for missing a concert performed the night before. She wanted the teacher fired immediately, and had even come to school prepared to go to blows with the teacher, if it came to that!
“Number One: Have you spoken with the teacher? And number two: Do you think God would be glorified in your behavior?” I asked.
Her expression sobered as she reflected on my questions. The talk had taken perhaps ten minutes, tops. We returned to the office just in time for the principal to emerge from his office, prepared to talk with what had been an irate parent. “I’ve changed my mind. I want to speak with the teacher instead,” she said.
The music teacher, an unsaved colleague, approached me later. “What did you say to her? Did you know her before? How did you get her to change her mind?” I probably missed a great opportunity to witness for Christ in that situation. I mumbled something about praying with the parent.
The truth is we are strategically placed in our individual schools. As Christian educators, we are to demonstrate the love of Christ in every situation. Given the opportunity, we may also run interference for others!
Copyright by Clara Ruffin. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org