I inherited a dominant teasing gene passed down from generations of relatives that loved to laugh. Humor is a coping mechanism for me. It allows me to express affection in ways that are not mushy or over dramatic, which are other tendencies of mine.
Christmas vacation is looming. Along with the myriads of angels that sing the Lord’s “Hallelujah Chorus,” you can almost hear the reverberating echo of Hallelujahs down the hallways of my school from students and teachers alike.
“Hallelujah, the Lord has come, and we get two weeks off of school as a bonus! Hallelujah!”
Being the sentimental type that I am; though, these Hallelujahs have a tinge of sorrow. I’m going to miss my kiddos over the eagerly anticipated two week break.
So the teasing began. “5K (which stands for fifth grade class taught by Mrs. Kloster), I know how badly you are going to miss me over Christmas break. And even more than missing me, I know how hard it will be for you not to have homework.” (Expected chorus of cheers for no homework inserted here). “So I have developed a plan. I have decided to visit each of your homes over Christmas to deliver homework to you. Doesn’t that sound like a wonderful Christmas plan?”
This is where my teasing plan takes a veer. The students stare at me. They don’t quite know what to say. Then one precocious girl with bobbed red hair and freckles develops her own plan. “Mrs. Kloster, I know what we will do. We will clone you. That way you can come home with each of us. You will get to spend Christmas with each of us. There is one condition, though. You can’t bring homework.” (Now the class erupts in a chorus of cheers for cloning Mrs. Kloster so she can come home with each of them.) And now my teasing plan takes another veer. It turns on me, and my eyes well up with tears that I quickly blink away as I laugh.
And I wonder and ponder. How would my perspective change if I spent two weeks with each of my students in their home? What new compassions would I feel? How would my methods of teaching be different? Would I spend more time listening and less time saying, “Get to work!"
Then another thought dawns on me. That is what Jesus did. He came to earth to live with us. He came into our world. He loves us that much.
So as often happens, my students once again teach me more than I teach them. This time, they taught me an eternal lesson of the love of God who came to live with us.