Friday, September 9, 2011


Yesterday morning I sat in a 2nd grade classroom with my charge for about twenty minutes of his music lesson, the kids sitting on the floor around the teacher as we entered, he and I utilizing a couple of chairs on their outer perimeter. They were playing some sort of “guess what’s in the paper bag” game in the beginning, but quickly evolved into being paired with one another, their mission being to create some artistic manner in which different cultures might greet one another. “Jambo, jambo, sano jambo”, African for “Hello, hello, hello to everybody” was played over and over for them as they devised simple choreography other than a handshake; then everyone returned to the floor and two little girls, from a multitude of hands volunteering to be first, were chosen for the honor. Enthusiasm, for one of them, quickly evolved into terror. She stood there frozen for a few moments, unable to remember what to do, tears forming in her eyes, trapped in an awkward situation and welcoming the teacher’s invitation to try again later... I don’t recall any similar events in my own childhood years, nothing specific, anyway; but that’s not to say it never happened. It’s probably safe to say that most, if not all of us, were scarred in one way or another along the way. Embarrassed. Made to feel inferior. Insignificant in so much as what really happened, perhaps; but nonetheless a part of who we are today. Remember, though: only “a part”. To understand each of us would require a walk in each individual’s shoes, experiencing their history through their “eyes”, through their reception of and their reaction to each moment. We are, indeed, “singular” in our creation and in need of His connection with us as we go. He, alone, meets us and completes us in the journey……


  1. Beautifully said Jim.
    Your friend in PA.

  2. Joe! Good to find you here! The little girl of whom I speak here actually broke into sobbing before the teacher realized the extent of her hesitation, but was never condemned in any manner and I thought the moment handled well. We have all been there, on one side or the other, at such times....