Funny…….the activity had been more of an add-on on the last day of school when I–rather annoyingly– got called into a meeting and had to leave my children with a cover teacher instead of spending time with them: in the rush to find something for them to do, I had told them that they could make Christmas cards for family or friends or, if they wanted, for someone living on the streets. I mentioned in passing that homeless people have a hard time and that often, people forget about them, but that they are human beings, for whom love and care is as important as for anyone. I then dashed off to what turned out to be a rather pointless meeting. …….
When I came back to my desk at the end of the school day, one of my children had left this card on my desk and asked me while walking out with his lolly and my Christmas card to him if I could pass the card on to a homeless person.
I broke down in tears when I read it. His card encapsulates the true spirit of Christmas in just a few lines: the beauty of the little people in my care; the pain that some of them have had to go through even at such a young age. It shows how capable of love and empathy these young souls are; how much they can not only appreciate simple gestures, kind words, encouragement but also pay these forward to total strangers with unconditional love, even at age 8! We adults are so wrong when we sometimes (and inadvertently) act as if little people do not hear or cannot understand the big issues in our world today. Throughout our busy school days, when we cram in Maths, English, Science and gazillion of other supposedly life-changing learning activities that someone in the government has told us are important, we do not make enough time to reflect with those little ones on the world around them. How much we miss, how much we could learn about their precious hearts and souls if we did!
So yes, tomorrow I should be doing many things to do with Christmas. Post my Christmas cards, buy last minute gifts, tidy my flat. But actually, my number one mission has to be –and will be–delivering that card to one of the many homeless people in Watford. I will pray that somehow, it blesses one of those souls who are out in the cold, that it will warm their hearts and give them hope that one of the citizens of tomorrow cares more for them than so many adults do. Praise God for that.
And while I am at it, here’s my New Year’s resolution: next year, I will make more time in my day to chat to my children about what really matters. I will pray for those precious minutes to somehow be carved out of my all too busy teaching schedule, so that I can discover more of these precious gems hidden away in my children’s little hearts , and to be able to affirm the innate goodness and kindness within each one of them.
“Oh come, oh come Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel”