2014-05-14 - Humble or Insignificant
Originally Published 2013-10-02
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (Matt 5:5). The Lord lifteth up the meek : he casteth the wicked down to the ground. (Psalm 147:6) God resiseth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (James 4:6).
You get the idea by now. I didnt quite understand these concepts as a young child. It was often difficult to know who was the humble and who was the wicked. Some that were supposed to be one were in fact the other,and it wasnt really clear to me until much later, that it was because not everyone is playing by the same set of rules. Many profess to believe the principles of the first quotes, but are not necessarily walking it out in their lives, for various reasons. Perhaps they did not have the best upbringing, or experienced overwhelming challenges in their own lives, and didnt get much support. As a result, they began to cross that line between teaching others how to be humble or teaching them to feel insignificant.
I was seven years old in the first grade. I was born past the cutoff in the year, to start school and also was held back a year while learning to read properly, due to the challenge of reverse dyslexia. Its not something that a person has any control of, being dyslexic. My kindergarten teacher was a kind woman, Miss Grekko. I appreciated her helping me learn how to get things flipped, so I could read better. It helped me feel as though things were possible. And I had always been taught at home that things were possible. I was gaining more self-confidence with reading, and felt ready to go to the next level, which was first grade. First grade for me started at a school in PA. I really dont remember much about the time I spent at that school beyond one specific event. We were doing some kind of drawing of either ourselves or people in our family. I am guessing it was the beginning of the school year, and perhaps that was part of the getting to know us time of things. I recall sitting at the back part of the classroom. I think it was my habit. I dont even remember this particular teachers name, but she made a comment that the entire class heard, when I went to the front to retrieve my paper from her. It was an insulting remark about how the person in my drawing had no neck. Personally, Ive never met a 6 year-old that was able to do figure drawing or proper body proportioning. I felt very insignificant at that moment, as well as humiliated in front of the entire class. I really think that was a turning point for how I interacted with many instructors in school, and not so much in a good way. Our words have such power, ones we speak as well as ones we do not speak. We have the opportunity to choose them - and we should do so carefully.
When we choose to make someone feel insignificant, we have passed up the opportunity to be an humble servant. Thankfully, God never sees us as insignificant. He knew us before we were in our mothers womb, and even numbered the hairs on our heads - and because of that, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I am not an insignificant person as I was made to feel that day in first grade. Later as I continued in school, I had a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Betsy Travis, who encouraged my talent and allowed me to be creative, by making her bulletin boards in the classroom. Beyond that, in college as an Art major, I reflected back on how that time in the first grade classroom had affected me. When I thought about it as an adult, it made me angry. Reason being is that no one really should say something like that to a kid. There was never any attempt to teach me anything in that moment, only to defeat me. Well, due to an unrelenting spirit put in me by God and nurtured by my mother and grandmother for many years, I turned insignificance into humble joy. I still dont really do much figure or portrait drawing, but just do my best at everything I attempt, and give glory where its due. In His eyes, I have always been and will always be significant. Humility makes me significant to God, and thats who I need to please anyway, not people.