Beauty & the Birthday

I’ve written before about all of the incredible lessons I’ve learned from my students – whether it’s their teamwork, encouragement for one anotherservants’ hearts, or epic dating advice, I teach some pretty awesome kids 🙂

It’s stories like these that make me love teaching.  And it’s amazing how God seems to send them along just when I’m especially worn out or discouraged.

Today, a student approached me, asking what another student was reading for independent reading, a responsibility that every student is expected to fill for English class.

The student that she was inquiring about was new this year, and was not yet very involved in social circles.  Unsure of why she was asking, I hesitated, considering whether I should give her the information or not – I wanted to make sure that the student didn’t get made fun of for the choice in literature.

I questioned whether they were having an end-of-the-year secret santa type activity, or why she was curious about the books.

She explained to me that the student-in-question’s birthday was the coming week, and that she was hoping to make it special.  She’d made plans to decorate the student’s locker, have students sign a Happy Birthday poster, and was even hoping to give a gift… but was looking for ideas that would be appreciated, because she didn’t know this student very well.

Hence the preferred book request.

I was blown away.

When I come in contact with people who are often overlooked, I try to tell them hello.  Or give them a smile on the way into the school.  I do my best to tell the men who come to clean my room thank you, and offer them cookies if I have extra.

But a full-blown, pre-meditated, time-consuming event for someone that I wasn’t friends with?

I’ve never done anything like that.

These students are in the midst of their craziest days of the school year, as they finish up their exams and projects.  We’re all sleep-deprived and stressed as we work to tie off the ends and head through our last rigorous stretch to the summer.

But, despite everything going on, this student was intentionally pausing to consider others. Others that are often left unconsidered.

That’s beautiful.

And it begs the question – how well am I loving others?  Am I willing to do so beyond the times that it’s easy?  Do I intentionally love even when I’m busy?


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