The makeup of an individual is complex and often concealed from our line of sight. We can’t see through the facade of a student to reveal their innermost thoughts. We can’t know what fight they just had or how many tears they have cried in secret. We can’t see the loneliness that consumes them in the midst of a crowd of people. We can’t know what they are contemplating to do next nor can we know what lies they believe that drive them to do what they do. We can’t hear the nightmares they endure behind closed doors hidden from public view. We can’t hear their screams for help muzzled by their desire to look normal. We can’t know their love for God or lack thereof beneath the surface of plastic Christianity. We are flying in a “no-visibility” zone when it comes to knowing these students who just walked through our door for the first week of school.
Oh, we can make assumptions of the returning students, whose families we think we know. We can make suppositions on the new students based on the personification of the character and attitude they work so hard to portray. But, do we really know them? Do we really see their heartaches and their struggles? Do we understand the reasons behind their confusion about God? Do we see past the painted on smiles forged innocently out of habit?
The better question is do we care? As long as they are compliant and do their work without complaint or trouble, is that enough? As long as we can get through the day without incident and accomplish the checking off of our daily list, is that enough? As long as they don’t disturb the serene quiet work atmosphere in the classroom, is that enough? Or is there more?
Well, thankfully we know without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord sees and knows each student intimately. Nothing is hidden from Him! He has their very life in the psalm of His hand. Their outer facade may fool us, but they cannot hide the truth from their Creator. We also know that the staff here at E3 Christian Academy cares greatly for these kiddos. They would never push students to be robotically compliant, especially at the risk of their eternal well-being. Our hope here is that the Lord in His infinite wisdom and knowledge will prompt the staff at the right time, to peel back the mask of each student and drill down until lies are exposed and truth can be poured into the very core of their being.
We recognize that only the Lord can save them, heal them and bring them peace. We understand all too well our dependence on Him to direct and guide us as we minister to each and every one of these kids. Our prayers center around us having eyes to see those who are crying secretly, those who are lonely, those who live in dark secrets, those paralyzed from getting help and those who need a reset on the truth of who God is. We long to be the extension of our loving Lord who reaches out to embrace them with unconditional love. We want to have a focused energy that has been soaked in prayer and reliant on the Holy Spirit.
And for those who do love the Lord and who are living lives absent of crisis at the moment, we want to help them be thankful. We want to encourage an attitude of gratitude. We want to expand their understanding of God, breaking Him free from the boxes they have placed Him in. We hope to stir up passion for His Word and for whatever God has called them to. We long to teach them how to embrace their fellow classmates with the love of Christ. Whether on fire for the Lord or absent of any acknowledgment of God, we want to see and minister to “the real student”.
“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:13
Dear Lord, please help us to see these students the way that You do. Help us to not hurry through the education of the day and miss the real heart of the matter. Uncover the schemes of the enemy and bring protection to the fertile soil of these kids’ hearts. Birth salvation in those who don’t know You. Increase passion in those who do. Help us as the adults to be real and avoid the putting on of our own masks. Help us to walk the words we talk. Expose anything that makes us a poor reflection of You. Drive us to holiness and purity of heart. Help us minister Your grace and mercy as these students learn to expose their heart even if it is in little pieces at a time. Amen