Dr. Jackie Minor
The Beauty Within
Two of my favorite things are family and nature. There is something about the beauty of God’s creation that transports me to a different place. Couple this with family (especially the granddaughters), and I feel I am experiencing a little slice of Heaven.
This past August my two favorites converged as I strolled hand-in-hand with my oldest granddaughter through the botanical gardens. We were walking and talking when suddenly she pulled me back toward something she had seen. When this happens, it is often of utmost importance—to her anyway. I stopped to look at what had captured her attention—a butterfly hiding in plain sight. It was stunning. The vibrant colors and intricate detail in this small creature reminded me of the care God takes in every aspect of His creation, and I had almost missed it! I had to take a picture. I knew God had a deeper message for me.
As I scanned over my pictures of the day, the image of this beautiful butterfly reminded me of how easy it is to stroll through life oblivious to the beauty around us. Last week’s blog addressed our constant battle with busyness which is often the reason we miss out on God’s handiwork. As Christian educators we have the unique privilege EVERY DAY to see beauty in God’s most prized creation—children created in HIS image.
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
In the daily grind of school life, I fear it is easy to lose sight of this foundational truth. Educators have so much to juggle (e.g., lesson plans, meetings, assessments, assigned tasks, students, parents), and let’s not forget the most important task—teaching! In the midst of all this lies beauty in each and every student we serve. Will we miss it?
Whether or not we see the beauty in those we teach will invariably impact how we teach and our interactions with them. While educating children is our charge, we all know it goes way beyond the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Everything we say and everything we do sends a message to the children that have been brought into our lives.
If we see each child as a unique individual created in the image of God, we must acknowledge there is beauty within. It may be hard to find or somewhat undetectable due to sin, but the potential is there. We have to pray for God to help us to see what He sees—a life made complete through Jesus Christ.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
When I think about it, choosing to see the beauty in our students is an act of mercy and grace, an act afforded to every Christian. After all, we have all fallen short. If not for God’s mercy and grace in our own lives, where would we be?
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. Romans 3:23-24
Remember, the potential to reflect God’s image—to demonstrate love, kindness, humility, mercy and patience—is there for every child. Will we recognize it, or will we miss it? Let’s take some practical steps toward seeing our students as God’s prized creations.
1. Choose two or three students who are proving to be a challenge.
2. Pray specifically for them, and ask God to help you see them as He does.
3. Identify their strengths, and let them know the potential you see.
4. Be a reflection of God in their lives. Allow the Fruit of the Spirit to be visible: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23
There is beauty within every child. Don’t miss it!
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.