“That your joy may be full.” Jesus
Imagine being with the most prolific teacher, one you’re humbled, challenged, encouraged and fascinated by.
I had an English professor, Honors English in my Freshman year. She saw my timidity and yet, she gave no mercy when it came to writing. Honesty, brevity, tenacity were her standards, more so than grammar.
Write with honesty. Don’t copy.
I left that college and that Honors English professor after barely eight months. Art scholarship and English were sidelined by events uninvited.
I wish I could remember her name, that tiny framed woman who commanded the room.
She taught me about doing hard things. She spoke of choices that would bring joy.
It’s crazy really, the forceful tone she used to cut no corners and instruct me has been my motivation for as long as I can recall.
I was afraid of her. I was unsure.
She told me I belonged in her class and I should never forget it.
I have been writing all my life in one way or another.
My writing lately is cursive, blue ink in my journal and most days an early morning Instagram post.
I honor that petite professor who never played favorites. Shy poor girl me or sorority blonde, she taught us to write and to continue writing.
She left us all with what was important.
Jesus left the disciples with many commands that he hoped they’d honor. He told them doing so would lead to joy.
Most of all,
He said, “Love one another”.
Some mornings I read a verse or more and I write a sermon to self. Mornings like today, I share it:
Look for light today, where the love of Jesus falls and changes the simple or hard things.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
John 15:12 ESV
Years ago, I concluded that God made us all so different, so uniquely difficult in our ways, so individually changed by our circumstances in not always so easy to love ways, so that we’d be challenged to obey the command to love one another.
The greatest commandment isn’t a suggestion.
The other day I “vented” with a friend about difficult people. She listened. I listened. We had things in common. I didn’t feel better for my venting. Wished I hadn’t.
Notice how you feel when it’s a challenge to love others, choose the way of Jesus to do the best you can.
You’ll feel better for trying, for doing what the teacher instructed.
Remember, we don’t know the experiences that lead to the behaviors of others. It really is all about perspectives formed by circumstances.
We just can’t know the whole story of anyone other than the portion they share.
Sometimes that portion is the best or the worst.
Love one another.
Continue and believe.
Write, paint, sing, dance.