I was sitting on the steps by the well (see yesterday's post for cool well photos) because as Tropical Storm Irene approached, I wanted to see a tennis player. I met her a year ago while on retreat and had thought she was rather graceful with a tennis racket. I hoped that I would get to see her play. So I marveled at the speed of the clouds and the tennis when up popped a ground hog.
Ground hogs are near the top of my critters which need to be called varmints list because of the feasting they have done at the school's garden. The varmint may have sensed my distaste and popped back down out of my evil eye zone.
Then it popped back up. The tennis player and the clouds were doing their things but my eyes were on the varmint as it approached me. It passed the well and neared the bottom of the steps, at which point I decided that it was plenty close. I made my presence known. Now really it should have fled from one whose heart has been filled with much hatred in the past, but it didn't. Maybe it sensed I was not in a killing mood. It eventually turned right and walked away.
and it made me think of the prodigal son walking home and I was the father. The son and groundhog were brave to approach what could have been a very ugly scene.
as I sit here I think how brave it is for my students, who have less than stellar days, to come back into my classroom. But they march in like a foolish ground hog, knowing that even though I have no reason to forgive them, I really have no other option if I want to be their teacher.
I guess that is what the Kingdom of Heaven is like.
and it is not like the days I hold a grudge against imperfect students or despise hungry groundhogs.