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Thursday, 24 October 2013

Seeing the Sacred at Home and School

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.  The whole earth is full of his glory"
Isaiah 6:3

   As a teacher, I spent this day in professional development at a conference for Christian educators in Ontario, Canada organized by the organization edifide (spell-check doesn’t like this name, but I do).  During one of the workshops I attended we were given time to slow down and reflect about the metaphors we use in our teaching.  That is, how do we see the spaces where we are teaching? 
   Our leader introduced us to a song by Michigan folk singer, Carrie Newcomer entitled “Holy As a Day  is Spent.”  You can hear it sung here. In her song, she looks at the everyday things in our homes and sees them as hints of God’s presence in our lives.  In one verse, she writes,

 Holy is the place I stand
To give whatever small good I can
The empty page, the open book
Redemption everywhere I look
Unknowingly we slow our pace
In the shade of unexpected grace
With grateful smiles and sad lament
As holy as a day is spent

The leader challenged us as participants to write our own stanza to this song, using images from the classroom.  When we open our eyes to see in a new way, we can detect holy ground before us.  In just a few moments of reflection, the following lines came together for me:   
This book makes me cry every time I read it for young children.

Holy is the girl struggling to write
And the buzz of the fluorescent light;
The storybook that moves me to tears
And the boy who overcomes his fears;
The delight of learning something new,
Connecting with whatever’s true.
The note that’s to a parent sent
As holy as a day is spent

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