My chest rises and falls effortlessly. I sleep and the involuntary act of breathing expands and contracts my diaphragm.
In my nose.
Lungs fills up.
Out of my mouth.
Lungs spill out.
She seemed more aloof than usual. Her notebook check yielded dismal results. Red Zeroes peppered the gradebook. Her smile was a shadow of its former self.
I warned her of her recent failures, like a teacher of the law warns a Samaritan woman.
“I’m trying to take care of mom,” she said,”She’s been in and out of the hospital a lot lately. She’s on the waiting list for a double lung transplant.”
I have no clue what those words mean in the technical sense; Only that those words can shatter a ninth graders fragile psyche into a million pieces. They make linear equations and exponential functions seem like a cruel fool’s errand.
“I’m so sorry…well, I’m sure your mom wouldn’t want your grades to slip……” was my half-hearted vacuous response. That teachable moment slipped through my fingers like a jello covered baby.
And I’m reminded of the quote by Ian McClaren:
“Be kind. Everyone you meet is carrying a heavy burden.”
Everyone we meet is a soul, not a hollow tree. There may be thousands of insecurities, burdens, and scars they are battling on the inside in any given second. Still waters don’t gaurantee still deeps.
May we speak words of grace like our big brother that lighten the unbearable yoke.