Friday, February 2, 2007

I Hear You

I've been blessed this year to have had the freedom of time and finances to enroll for Sign Language Classes at our local College. I was shocked to realize at my first lesson that the teacher was not going to open up a text book and teach. My teacher is deaf. For some reason that possiblity never entered my mind. So as I sat, reeling under the new pressure and fear I placed on my self, I prepared for the impossible class with no chance of connecting with this teacher, not being able to really understand him or where he was at, and not to be understood in return.

As typical I entirely underestimated God. The Lord is so big and so gracious, and so able to calm and blow away my every fear. Tony, our teacher, is a gifted instructor. He has been more than able to communicate with us with humour, gestures, and yes, our new, fledgling attempts at signing.

But today I really "heard" him. I think for the first time I felt like I fully connected with him even though our communication is limited. Our homeschool group has brought him in to teach at our Co-op, and he is doing an amazing job of reaching these children ages 5 to 17 (not to mention the moms who flock to the class to learn too). As I was talking to him at break time, he told me that he has been teaching for 25 years; still, there are times when he is stressed out worrying about what to teach each class and how to best convey what needs to be expressed. But then he said that when he gets with our children he makes them laugh, and they make him laugh and he can just relax. Then he said "I love teaching. After 25 years I thought maybe I would have had enough; but I still love teaching."

I really heard him. I'm so there with him. Sometimes teaching my children is stressful. Sometimes I think I can't imagine one more day, that maybe I've already had enough. But the underlying truth is that I love teaching my children. And that when I am functioning in the Lord's gifting and strength (instead of my own attempts and abilitlies) I can relax and thoroughly enjoy it.

What a blessing to have my children taught by such a gifted educator. But more importantly, what a blessing to have an opportunity to connect with another person in spirit, if not with words.

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