Spotting God… in Third Grade

Spotting God… in Third Grade

I am a SEST (Spouse of an Elementary School Teacher).  It’s an exclusive club of primarily men who spend their lives listening to endless stories of children’s antics, administration’s shortcomings and parental idiocy.  (Of course, I was once a child, have been a parent and currently engage in the art of administration.  I listen…but I secretly sympathize with the enemies.)

The best part of being a SEST is time spent in the classroom.  For one reason or another – delivering pizza to the class party, hanging posters in hard to reach places, or burying the dead goldfish – I occasionally get to be a fly on the wall of third grade.  The conversations are priceless…

Last month, during the Winter Holiday season (school talk for Christmas), a young Jewish boy (the legitimate reason for school talk during Christmas) was explaining to a Christian classmate the historical origin of Chanukah.  Upon finishing his story, the gentile guy aggressively responded, “My dad told me there’s no way a little bit of oil could have burned eight nights!  Christmas is the only real holiday!”  On cue, the kosher kid calmly replied, “Well, my dad told me virgins can’t have babies!”  My wife intervened, but not before some little girl asked what oil and virgins have to do with each other.  I actually had two answers.  One had to do with the condiment aisle and the other had to do with a word that is often confused with condiment.   But, I restrained myself.  It’s not my classroom.  And if I had responded, I would have had to deal with the antics of children, the administration and some idiotic parents…with whom I truly sympathize…

I can tolerate almost anything…but intolerance.  When it comes right down to it, the things we believe are precious simply because we believe them.  They are down right silly to those who don’t believe.  We need to be okay with that.  My silliness doesn’t have to trump your silliness.  My truth doesn’t have to trump your truth.  God has the power and right to reveal divine presence any way God chooses.  God understands the connection between oil and virgins.  I like God.


Photo by Mountainbread, Creative Commons License.

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