There is a saying that people learn what they live…what they experience. As I have gone through life there are many people who have had an impact on me through both their words and actions. With the month of August mid-way through and faith formation registrations in progress, I think of my first Sunday school teacher. I recall the love and care with which she taught and interacted with me and my fellow kindergarten classmates. I can still hear the sound of her voice as she taught and as she sang to us, and with us, “Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me…”
Years ago while I was driving, out of the blue, that long forgotten song came into my mind; a much needed reminder at the time. Only as I reminisced about that time in my life, did I realize how deeply touched I was by Mrs. Lahage’s words and actions, and the way they reflected her faith. Most of all, I remember her gentle, loving presence and the generosity with which she shared her faith with us; a faith so genuine and far greater than any obstacle that might occur.
As I think about how much I learned from that experience, I feel grateful to God for the gift that Mrs. Lahage was. I also feel thankful for the grace that has enabled something that happened so long ago to become a source of strength and inspiration today. There really is an appointed time and place for everything.
Continuing to reflect, there are many others who have made an impression on me and from whom I have learned. There are some who have made a more profound impact than others and some in more positive ways than others. There are also some who have done so perhaps knowingly and others not. Similarly, I also have impacted others along my journey. There are some of which I am aware and others of which I am sure that I am not.
In a sense we are all teachers in one way or another. Sometimes it is through a specific role and sometimes it is unknowingly as our words and actions may simply be observed by another. Rare, if it all, is the person whose life does not touch that of others. And, more often than not, it is the spirit in which we live and share with others rather than what we know or exactly how we do what we do that makes a difference as we make our way. Then, again, isn’t that what being a disciple is all about?
“Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.” – Luke 13:22