Yesterday at my after-school program, 5 of the fifth graders, another teacher and myself were sitting around debating a homework assignment. Actually. a very good homework assignment – wasn’t from the Common Core Standards book – and students were engaged. As tutors – so were we. In fact, by the time we finished the homework page, there were several of the older students also interacting with us. Everyone was communicating and learning about a subject and themselves.
“…you shall love your friend as you love yourself.” Lev 19:18
Shoes. It all started with a survey about shoes. The survey question: How many pairs of shoes do you own?” There were 8 questions that the students had to fill out that dealt with math – range, outliers, total number, average, charting… Got the picture, right? While doing all the math, communication was developing as well…and on many different levels: cost of shoes; why shoes are important; pairs of shoes parents and teachers had; shoes that someone had seen at the Holocaust Museum; affluence, poverty…it was good to listen and watch all of it unfold.
We are an affluent country. The students in the group said their teacher did put a limit on claiming more than 11 pairs of shoes. Two of the girls in our small group said they had more than 11 pairs of shoes. That is when the shape-shifter started darting around the corners. I came home and counted my pairs of shoes. I counted my husbands pair of shoes. I went to my daughter’s house and counted their pairs of shoes (only the ones in the hallway – I didn’t go crawling under the beds or backrooms ). WE HAVE LOTS OF SHOES! (My husband and I both have 7 pairs of shoes – in case you’re wondering – surprised me…I thought I had more )
Clothes – shoes – toys – technology gadgets – food in the pantry and fridge – rooms full of stuff – we are a comfortable society…for the most part. For those of us in the middle income/affluent income, it is easy to complain we don’t make enough – bemoan our lack of money – run up the charge card – buy the newest necessity – play the lottery – But it makes me wonder and wonder some more. Where is our treasure?
“Yeshua said to him, ‘My Kingdom is not from this world…’ ” Jn 18:36
We know where Christ considered His treasure. On His three year journey, Rabbe Jesus traveled with only a handmade robe, woven by His mother, between him and the elements, one pair of well-worn sandals to protect His weary feet, a shawl to cover His head in the temple – cradle His head at night – protect His head in unseemly weather, and the dust dyed everything.
“Put on the full armor of God…” Ep 6:10
I think that nebulous shape-shifter is starting to become more focused during this lenten journey, and so I pray – and pray some more. “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is one.”