Prayer: Lord, give us the courage to be bright lights for you. Amen.
Scripture: And God said, “Let there be light…” Genesis 1:3
After a career of more than thirty years, one of the most courageous brightest lights in the field of public education is Mable Robinson. This is Mable’s true story as told by her faith-filled friend and coworker of many years, Rhonda Livingston.
“My friend Mable has always been a flood light of faith in the public schools. During the first ten years of my career, when my faith was safely locked in my classroom closet under a bowl, I noticed this short, middle-aged woman. She was a paraprofessional serving emotionally disturbed students in the classroom next to my second grade classroom. I would often hear shouting, cursing, and banging on the opposite side of the wall we shared. (I told my inquiring students there was construction work going on next door.) Students were often escorted by Mable and her supervising teacher to the principal’s office past my door. On one occasion I remembered seeing a child being escorted who had smeared excrement all over his face. Mable served the most severe emotionally disturbed students in the district who would sometimes hit, bite, kick, curse, and spit at her. I wondered how this lady could do her job day after day, especially for the salary she received. I wondered why she took such abuse for so little pay.”
“One day I noticed that at every break she would tuck a large well-worn book under her arm and head out to her late model car in the parking lot to take a 15 minute respite from the evil in her classroom. I figured she was going out for a needed cigarette smoking break, for that was the routine of her co-worker to deal with the stress. Upon closer scrutiny I realized it was a Bible under her arm and she was going out to her car to read the Bible and pray, to do some holy smoking! Those times alone with Jesus, several times a day, gave her the strength and courage to deal with the constant trials and tribulation in her classroom. I knew when I saw this that I wasn’t alone in desiring to serve Jesus first on the job.”
“When God called me to ask people at school to begin praying with me I knew she was going to be a safe bet, and I would not be rejected or embarrassed. I asked her to pray with me and she gladly and courageously accepted. We committed to a day and time to meet and pray after school each week.”
“Mable later went on to get her bachelor’s degree and teach in another district, and she is still my prayer partner after twenty years. We will call and share prayer requests for both family and professional concerns. We have prayed one another through many domestic and professional crises. She, above all others in my profession, understands that public schools are spiritual battlegrounds for the youth of this nation. The Bible says that “a three stranded cord is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). My spiritual relationship with Mable and other believers with whom we prayed has continually kept us from breaking as the Lord uses all of us, one student at a time and one day at a time, to restore the light of faith and His presence in His public schools.”
Reflection: What are some practical things I am doing to stay plugged into Jesus and keep shining for Him in my professional life?
Getting Real: Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Take time to pray during the school day during breaks, off periods, at lunch, or before and after school. Start praying in agreement with co-workers.
Copyright Don Clark. Email firstname.lastname@example.org