The last day before winter break. Half day, party day, dressed down and sugared up. Do you think they were "off the chain" more than usual? You bet your sweet bippy,Skippy!
Now, I've got to be honest here. Parties, finals, plus all the adult versions of holiday stress, and I may also have been straining the chain . . . just a little. Only one more ingredient was needed for God to pull a 1-2 punch.
Thankfully, having two classrooms this year meant I needed extra containers for pens, paperclips, etc. The mug/bowl finally had a home on my middle school classroom desk. Talk about an accident waiting to happen.
Back to the last day before winter break. I'm two steps behind 7th graders charging up the stairs, and into the classroom. And one step behind one unruly student knocking the mug off my desk and breaking it. Her mouth was still hanging open when I got to my desk.
I gotta tell you, it was not me who responded to her. My mean self wanted to jump her sorry self and ream her a new one. (BTW Faith doesn't necessarily mean faultless.)
What came outta my mouth surprised me as much as it did her. Words of forgiveness and acceptance flowed kindly out of my mouth like they were the most natural thing in the world. But trust me, it wasn't natural and it surely wasn't me. It was grace packing PUNCH ONE, straight to the heart of a rambunctious teenager. And the more grace flowed, the more amenable the student became.
And then came PUNCH TWO: my mouth fell open and my eyes bugged out, but not at the student's obvious contrition. I was simply astounded at how the Lord had used my mouth to speak His words. With the astonishment came an even more amazing peace.
Grace certainly had a 1-2 punch in our hyped up, stressed out classroom, first the student, then me. And as a totally undeserved bonus, since returning from winter break, the student and I seem to have a much better relationship.
Isn't that what grace is all about? God does the work, and we get the wonder.