In 2013, I miscarried my fourth pregnancy. My grief was deep and long. I could speak no words as I cried. But I had just spent time studying and memorizing James 1, and my mind was flooded with those words hidden in my heart, bringing comfort to my bleeding soul. I knew that, though the pain was real, I was going to grow in perseverance because of the trial I was enduring. My faith was strengthened because of the words that I had spent time contemplating and memorizing. When I learned that chapter of scripture, I had no idea it would carry me through dark days.
This Sunday, my fourteen-year-old son was qualified to compete in the NYC Junior High championship debate tournament. But since the event will take place on a Sunday, he declined, choosing to be at our church’s worship service instead.
My husband and I did not coerce him, and we are in no way advocating a legalistic view of the Lord’s Day. So what I took from this incident has little to do with the Sabbath and much to do with the thought and decision-making processes of a teenager.
Like most classical educators, I often find myself discussing How To Teach. This is a topic that bewilders me because of its great weight, and I used to panic and answer any queries directed to me in the same manner: “Ask somebody else. I, too, want to teach better. I only teach literature because I love books.” Over the years I have absorbed to my surprise that an insatiable love of learning in community has made me a teacher, so my advice now is, “To be a master teacher, show your students that you love what you teach.”
In his thought-provoking article, Individualism: The Root Error of Modernity, George Stanciu proposes that the foundational problem of Modernity lies in the false assumption that everything in the cosmos exists in-and-of-itself. He contrasts this belief with the Medieval assumption that things exist only in relationship.
A classical education is possible only if God is immutable and man is not. We, as educators, are dependent upon God to remain the same and to be faithful to His promises for the good of our students. We are dependent on man’s ability to change and grow if we are to see our efforts bear any fruit in the lives of our students.
One day, when my husband got home from work, he joined me at the kitchen window to watch our children. "What are they doing?" he asked.
"Digging, of course.”
While searching for a new house, my children had had one request: a place to dig.
“What do they want with a hole? When will they know to stop?”
I looked at him and shrugged, unknowing.
It has been said, mostly in old westerns, “don’t change horses in the middle of the stream.” However, that does not rule out going all the way across and deciding you’re riding the wrong horse, or that you crossed the wrong river, or that you’re going in the wrong direction, or that something screwy is going on. Anyway, I have such a story to tell.
How do words work? It depends on who you ask. Socrates felt words were not worth studying, that only things themselves are. Words, he thought, are much like an artist’s imitation—they are a likeness but not the true thing. His explanation seems to imply some sort of lack or falsity.
I am going to make one of those statements that my wife, Laura, often appreciates with a roll of the eyes: as much as it may ruin the song, it is empathy, not love, that makes the world go 'round.
Why do I say this? Here comes another one: if God is Love, and we cannot be God in His glorious essence and nature, then the energy of God—His Grace that flows out from our hearts which we can partake in—is empathy. Empathy then is the energy of Love.
My house was an absolute mess. Toys were scattered around the floors, doors to the outside stood open and flies came in to forage, grass and dirt littered the floor, and random cups, plates and shoes were all littered about. It was chaos. For several hours we had enjoyed the fellowship of company, of entertaining and eating, but now the day was drawing to a close and I felt restless. It was time to get things back into their place, to bring some order to the madness. It was time to see my kids bathed and in jammies, tucked away in cozy beds.