Looking for Substance in Hope

birds-eye-viewAnother one of Hina’s photos that caught my attention. There was something about the pigeon that I was trying to define. Reflecting on today’s events in the classroom, it struck me that the pigeon seemed comfortable, aloof, separated from the daily worries of traffic, crows, irate humans, finding food and being rejected by a potential mate.

And my day, the perfect antithesis; hectic, messy, tiring, hungry, not knowing whether students would reject my efforts to reach out to them, trying to avoid being stressed by the multiple interruptions that were preventing my completing trains of activity, and brain actually giving up with still 30 minutes left to teach.

It seems funny thinking about it now, but I would much rather have the jungle of being alive than the sterility of being aloof and comfortable.

However, I kept thinking about the picture of the silhouette in yesterday’s post ‘The Substance of Hope’ and reorienting myself to be patient with the students. I called one on one meetings with three of the boys and organised a meeting tomorrow with one of the parents. In all of these, thinking back, I can see shadows of the presence of change being cast, shadows of substance that I can work with. The shadows might be faint, but they’re unmistakably there. And that is encouraging.

But one boy baffled me. The lack of verbal response and apparent feeling were very concerning, and I came out of the meeting very disturbed and wondering what I needed to do with him.


I remembered an image I had created on Chaoscope that had captured some of the labour and difficulty involved in the transformation of people’s lives.

On reflection, I think the presence of this boy is important. He keeps me dependent not on my own perceptions and beliefs, but to look to God, pull back and wait, to listen to Him. After all, he is someone unavoidable in my life that God has brought, and if He has brought, surely He will give grace and power enough to deal with him in a way that God wants.

And the greater question is whether there is a shadow being cast of the substance of change in my own life by God shaping me to be a teacher after His own heart. After years of teaching, I feel like I’m back on the anvil, unlearning and being reshaped.

And that is a very good thing.

It means I have a future, and if I have a future, it means I have much hope. And I hope this will encourage you to see a future and have hope in your life too.



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