It is nearing Christmas again. One of my favorite Christmas songs is, “Do you hear what I hear?” I love the harmony; I love the message. I have just finished listening to one of my students sing at a recital at 10:00 o’clock at night. It was not my plan for this student to be the last one up. It was not my plan to be out this late. I have classes to prepare for. I have other things to do. Still, I savor the moment I can share with my students. We will share this moment together for as long as we both can remember. The funny thing about children, there is no such thing as “quality time.” They don’t choose to have their climax moments on my schedule. I have no control on whether this instant will be a life-changing moment or just another wave in the vast ocean of time.
I have the privilege to share success and failure, joy and defeat, thrill and disappointment with many of my students over the years. I get to see that magic “click” moment that all true teachers live for when their eyes take on a shine that says, “I got this.” Sometimes this happens in the classroom. Other times it comes at the most unexpected, inopportune moment and places. Sometimes it is a watershed moment that everyone can see, while other times it is hidden from even the most watchful eye to be revealed in the direction of a lifetime. Children are not time managers and do not plan critical moments for critical decisions. I have an open-door policy and do my best to always have time to spend with every student, as much as possible on his schedule or lack of schedule. I recognize that any moment, any comment, any lesson can be the impetus for a decision that can change a destiny. I will let God choose that moment. I will direct their time and thoughts toward things that are true, honest, just, and of virtue and praise and direct them away from the frivolous and temporal. The most important thing is to simply be there and be ready to give “an answer of the hope that is within you.” That can only come from a heart that is in tune with his Maker. I must beg God for daily wisdom and be Spirit-led. I must trust God to help me answer each need the way He would answer if He were in my place. If you slow down and listen just a little, you might hear what I hear.
I can hear a child who needs to hear a voice that echoes his parent’s opinion about right and wrong. I hear one who just needs someone to listen to his story. I hear another who needs a friend to warn him about a mistake he is about to make. Over here, I hear a fragile, timid, little soul who needs someone to say, “I think you can! Now go ahead and try.” There is another who simply needs the assurance that you are watching and really do care. Do you hear what I hear? You will if you are careful to listen.
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Jim Carey was the first staff member hired by Pastor Trieber in 1976. For over 40 years, he has served in many capacities. He has taught in the Christian school since its inception and has taught junior church every Sunday for that entire time as well.