June 2014

Image Reflecting - Everybody's Got a Soul

First, check out this video: Everybody's got a Soul

Some things about the video to think about as a parent thinking about raising our children...

When I think of the Latin word invitare (to offer something beneficial for consideration), I think that people need to be open to the opportunities presented to them. So much of parenting can be in the moment. You can plan and predict how your day is going to go, but then all the other people -your family- have to come into the room, and that's when things become unpredictable.

This video knocked me off my feet. When you think about other people, what makes you value them?  For me, it has been the belief that each person is created in the image of God. I'm a image bearer, and so is everyone else around me.  But philosophy doesn't mean much unless it's wrapped in principles (my "oughts") and then practices that put my beliefs into actions.

Okay, so let's talk about children. If my belief is real for me, then I ought to show respect, trust, care, hope and do it intentionally to my children. My parenting needs to be shaped by how my children are in that day. When a story is told, I need to be present and I need to listen. Parker Palmer, a noted educator,  says, "It is the simple fact that more one knows about another person's story, the less possible it is to dismiss or disrespect that person."

More thoughts then: When there's frustration over homework, I need to go back and start again. When a child wants a second chance, a third chance, a fourth chance, I need to recognize that perseverance and support that child. Why? Because she's a image bearer. I need to be present and offer choices and possibilities with the work that's given, because each child has different interests and likes to learn in different ways, and each one is an image bearer. They deserve the same respect as a person that I do, that anyone does.

One educator that I respected once told me that when I am in the presence of another person, I am on holy ground. There's an image bearer right in front of me, so what am I going to do and how am I going to treat that other person?

Dan Beerens writes a blog called the Nurturing Faith Blog through Christian Schools International. I am subscriber to his blog and one day this posting made me reflect on how I am invitational or disinviting to the people with whom I interact day to day. His original post is at http://nurturingfaith.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/if-we-saw-god-in-each-face/

If we saw God in each face
Do we see God in each face we encounter as we walk through our days?
If we saw God in each face, would we take more time to understand the pain we see in the face of another?
If we saw God in each face, would we pass by needs so quickly?
If we saw God in each face, would we do a better job of listening?
If we saw God in each face, would we see past race? Age? Deformity?
If we saw God in each face, would we speak of kids as problems to be managed, as just names and grades?
If we saw God in each face, would we verbally shred any student in the faculty lounge?
If we saw God in each face, would we accept the bullying or destruction of any person?
If we saw God in each face, would we find a way to bless those we meet instead of rushing to our next task?
If we saw God in each face, would we help them understand who their Father is?
If we saw God in each face, would we want each one to understand how this world belongs to God?
If we saw God in each face, would we desire to help all students understand why they are on this earth?
If we saw God in each face, would we desire to help all students identify and use their gifts to worship?
If we truly saw image bearers, how would it change us?
 

This page can be found at http://kidscorner.reframemedia.com/parents/article/june-2014