I caught myself looking at the twisted big toe of my own foot after I had substituted for just one day at the local high school. “Dear Lord,” I silently prayed, as I often do (it seems more often when I am in trouble or fussing about whatever I feel is not going just my way), “wouldn’t it have been so much better for me to have been born with really good feet? I could stand longer and do so much more for you,” I was missing all my yearly teaching of “adopted” kids. Teaching to me was God’s first calling on my life—causing me to view all the children entrusted to me as beautiful gifts from Him. My calling was to make those self-same children feel enough assurance to see themselves as true learners.
I taught in a poverty area of a small rural community in Texas for 25 years before retiring. So many children hurt and long for love and acceptance from a worldly parent who is just too often not there for them. Somehow that implied unacceptance made them feel as though they were also unacceptable to even their own selves. How many years have I prayed each day for every child I taught—and even now still do for them to really find their true worth and total acceptance from their true parent—God?
And now it was truly over, except when I was privileged to teach as a substitute. It is hard to accept that other teachers with better “feet” than I must take on that same calling that I had and still feel of being the servant of God to children. “Lord, I silently prayed, you have said how beautiful are the feet of those that serve you. Is it possible, I ask myself—that my feet are still usable beautiful feet for him that now must serve in another calling? Could retirement for me and for others just be another “calling” to be God’s beautiful “feet”?