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“Touch Red”

It’s been awhile since we have explored the lessons I learned working at a Special Ed Pre-School. In case you are new to my blog, I have a series of entries about how “Everything I Need to Know I can learn in Special-Ed Pre School.” I feel like I should make a disclaimer before I start writing my opinion about what will follow. Please, keep in mind, I am a broken-flawed-simple girl. I am not a preacher or a teacher or an expert on anything I ever write about. These are just my thoughts. It would be wise to “take what you like and leave the rest”. And try not to label me a heretic if you strongly disagree with what I am about to share with you. My OPINION. Deal? 🙂

My role at the school was to work one on one with pre-schoolers who needed extra help learning various skills. Sometimes we worked several “trials” to help them learn their name, the names of their family members (“your mom’s name is Sarah, not ‘mommy’), or how old they were. With certain kids, we focused on colors and shapes and numbers. Sadly, some kids could identify all of those, but didn’t know how to answer basic questions like, “what’s your name?”. Hang with me while I give you a brief tutorial on how these trials worked; let’s say that a child could not name any of his colors. Since one of the goals is to help him succeed, we would start with learning one color and adding more as he is able. If I were going to help him identify the color red, I would begin by putting a red square on the table and say “point to red.” If he hesitated I would literally hold his hand and assist him in pointing to the red square. Then I would say, “Great! You pointed to red!”, and give him a cheerio or some other form of reward that I knew he liked. One child I heard of used to like a drop of tabasco sauce on his tongue. Hey, whatever it takes. Gradually, I wouldn’t have to hold his hand and he would point to red on his own. Then we would slowly add in other colors and ask him to point to red. You get the idea. As I said, one of my main goals was to help him succeed. Therefore, I did not hide the square behind my  back and say, “point to red”. I put it out where he could see it and even held his hand as he touched it. Then came the reward.

So, here is where you and I might disagree. That’s ok with me. These are just my personal expressions of how I see God. Yes, God. Specifically, how God handles you and me and those we love. I believe God sent his son, his ONLY son, into this world so we could be forgiven and receive grace to cover all our sins. And as a momma of 3 kids, I can only begin to imagine what a sacrifice that was for Him. And he did that so we could have His Spirit to guide us in this life and for us to live forever with him after this life. So the question that is often asked, is “what happens after we die?”. How exactly do we get through those pearly gates? We worry about loved ones who seemed pretty hostile to God in this life. We wonder if perhaps we have messed up one too many times to get through heaven’s doors. I’m really not trying to make any statements on exactly how it all works. I just have ONE thing I want to say on this matter because I believe my God to be willing to go to any length to woo us to Him for eternity. The best image I can come up with to explain the desperation I believe God has in His heart to bring me home to him is very much like me teaching a pre-schooler to “touch red.” I think (up to the last minute) that God says, “choose me” (touch red). This image just about makes me weep. He does NOT try to trick us by holding the red square behind his back. He does NOT throw out 4 other colored squares along with the red one so we are confused and bound to make the wrong choice. He puts the red square on the table all by itself, takes our hand, and helps us succeed as we “point to red.” In other words, I believe as Bill Wilson (founder of AA) says, “that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the Realm of the Spirit is broad, roomy, all-inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek.” Or as 2 Peter 3:9 says, “God is not willing that any one should perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” He says “choose me” and will give you every last opportunity to do this. He did not send His only son to this hostile world, to live a perfect life and then be humiliated, betrayed, abandoned and killed so he could withholdimage the very reward that His sons’ death purchased for us.It is not complicated and it is not tricky. It is simply a matter of receiving the opportunity, whenever that comes for you, to let him hold your hand and help you “point to red.” Choose Him.

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