"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tears for School

I home school my kiddos and I love it.

Each morning we spend the first few hours working through the Geography, Math, Spelling, Grammar and Reading curriculum. After that is all finished we then get to the "fun" stuff (as my kids call it)... Science, Art and History. I think, in part, they like this time because we snuggle up on the couch to read and discuss these subjects. Any excuse to snuggle in our family!

Yesterday, I cried through our history lesson, hardly able to finish reading. It came up again at dinner tonight.

The subject of yesterday's lesson was the Holocaust. Even as I type the word, tears well in my eyes. We are learning about World War II and of course, we must learn about Hitler and the Holocaust. How do you teach your 10 and 7 year old about the atrocities, the evil, the horrible things that happened?

...well, unplanned, I taught them through tears. Barely able to finish the history book which described (very mildly and for young ears) the events of the Holocaust, I just cried and cried. My kids snuggled in deeper during those moments. Mommy is just so sad... I said. It was just so evil, so wrong, so very sad... I said, through tears. They just sat quietly, intuitively knowing Mommy needed a moment to regather.

It came up again tonight at the dinner table. The thoughts of what happened were deeply bothering Becka and she was upset still to even contemplate such things. I agree. How does a 10 year old understand? How does a 36 year old understand? Do you understand?

As we talked, and I silently prayed, a very "light" thought came and brought peace to my soul almost instantly. The thought was "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego". They were thrown into a fiery furnace and Jesus went with them. What a thought! This isn't just a Sunday school story. The story we find in Daniel is a story of young boys being persecuted because of their faith.

All at once the concept of Presence became very clear. The idea that God is everywhere became like a rock in the midst of a storm. Scripture teaches that "even darkness is as light to Him". The fact that He hates evil and judges sin is also taught in His word; and, this is good to know when the justice in us cries out "It isn't right!".

But, it is His Presence that grabbed my heart at the dinner table tonight. He is present always. He was present with the teenage boys in Babylon thrown into a heated furnace and then He saved them. AND, He was present with Stephen in the New Testament when he was being stoned to death and then chose not to save him... but He, God Almighty, was present. He was there. And, it says, Stephen's face shone like an angel. Stephen knew the Presence.

I think that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had a glimpse of this light too when they said, "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."

God walked with them in the fire. He didn't just pluck them out or protect them. He himself got into the fire and walked with them.

The tears will still flow easily when thinking about such atrocities and wrongs done... and yet, the Presence of God allows for light to flow with the tears. It seems to make the "darkness as light" somewhere deep in my soul.
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