The Light in this Darkness

Injustice.

It’s the thing I hate the most. It’s the reason I feel so passionate about helping survivors of sex trafficking find a better life. It’s the reason I hate slavery. It’s the reason I hate poverty and abuse and racism. I love to talk about love, but hate gets me angry. Hate gets me burning.

I hate injustice, but I never thought I’d find it in education.

I grew up thinking that the education system had nothing to be concerned about. You don’t think about the system raising you when you’re a kid. And then I became a teacher and all I see is injustice.

Injustice in the classroom when kids are bullying other kids because of the color of their skin or their abilities.

Injustice in the school when teachers don’t care about kids and work just to get their retirement.

Injustice when I see students being passed because their parents lobby for it even though that student is probably at a 2nd grade reading level. Those kids will keep passing and I’m afraid will never learn.

Injustice when I see how little money is being put into my students and so much money being put into students from rich neighborhoods in other states.

This world is so full of injustice and I hate it. Sometimes, it just feels so dark and all I want to do is quit. I don’t want to be in this world of injustice anymore.

But then I show up to work and see kids who do want to learn. They are there. And even though it’s not all of them, these kids make this job so worth it. They make me want to go in and put in my all because every kid deserves the best and these kids are going to take everything they can get. If I say a word, they will soak it in. If I teach a concept, they will learn it.

So I show up into this world of injustice.

Ever notice how when a room is dark, every little bit of light expels it? Darkness doesn’t really have a chance.

I’m not saying that I’m the light in this darkness because there are days when I feel like darkness itself. I’m not really the light. I can tell you that much. But I think that’s why I hear people always talk about God being it. And maybe he called me here to the plains of Oklahoma because He wants to use me. And I’m staying here because I know that there’s got to be something to it.

I live for the light these days.

As Christmas approaches, I always think of the candlelight services on Christmas Eve. The room always starts off pitch black, but little by little, as the candles light up, the room also lights up.

I don’t always see it, but I know there must be moments of light in my classroom because God is still somewhere here. The darker the room, the brighter the light. I don’t know what my students are seeing, but I hope . . . I pray . . . they see light.

I’d like to end this post on that note.

Don’t let your light stay hidden. Let’s both of us battle into the darkness together.

 

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lampstand put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

 

Matthew 5:14-16

 

 

What do you think?