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Day 7: I have graffiti on my walls and lint on my mouth

August 17, 2018


The above picture is on the right-hand wall of my classroom, just when you enter into the room.  It is Koine Greek and it expresses one of the most exciting things I can teach my students:

“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be, but we know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” – 1 John 3:2

Every morning when I sit at my desk to check my email and register my grades, I face this verse.  I painted it on my wall in late July.  Reading it in Greek slows me down and makes me think of the depth of this beautiful verse. It reminds me of who my students really are.  They’re not just fact-gobbling urchins mechanically attempting to raise their grade level by passing my tests.  They’re not just conveyor-belt pupils moving through a scholastic factory.

They are special, unique and exciting young people.  They are funny and witty.  They fight depression and explosive mood swings.  They eat and laugh at the same time.  They cry and hug.  They ask me questions and call out answers.  They engage in spiritual studies.  They look up and shake their head after they’ve read a fascinating passage of Scripture.

Understand this as clearly as possible:  They are children of God.

As the verse says, they don’t know what this means for the future – both the next years and the next millennia – but these young Christians are assured of two mind-smashing truths: that they will get to see –  face-to-face  – Jesus in His glory, and they will be like Him.

See Him.

Be like Him.

I get to be part of their stepping into this eternal awareness, and boy, when the light goes on, is it ever priceless.  I get to witness it.  It’s a special honor, and I feel privileged to be alongside the awakening moments.

Privileged, but often humbled.  This past week was one of those humbling experiences.

I was able to have part of our church service on Sunday morning, taking part in a special segment where I was able to expound on Psalm 59 before reading it aloud to the congregation.  I consider this a real honor, and one that I take quite seriously.  As I concluded, descended the stage and headed back toward my seat I wondered if I had presented myself well and taught the passage sufficiently.

Last night my 13-year-old daughter Julianne brought this up to me.

“Dad, do you know when you were speaking on Psalm 59 on Sunday, in the morning service?”


“And you were talking about the meaning of the words in that psalm?”

She’s going to ask me to elaborate.  After all, she was sitting on the front row when I spoke.  We’re going to have a small discussion of Hebrew right here and now.  “Yes, Julie?  What did you want to ask?”

“Well,” she said, “when you started talking, something small floated out of your mouth – like off of your lip or beard – and landed on your tie.”


“Like a piece of lint or something,” she said.  “Allie and I were sitting next to each other and Allie turned and smiled at me when it floated off of your lip or whatever. I did my best not to laugh.”

I gulped. “Do you think anyone else saw it?”

She shrugged.  “Well, I don’t know, but it was kind of funny … you know, like it floating off of your face and landing on your tie.”

After sitting and considering this picture, I just shook my head and had to start laughing.  In presenting God’s word I now find myself peeling and flaking apart – not exactly the most delicate image.  But if, in this humbling realization, God puts the message out there and pulls me, the messenger behind, I’m all for it.

Because these are children of God preparing for the day of meeting Jesus face to face.


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