Thursday, April 19, 2007

Won't You Be My Neighbor

I am from blonde pigtails and Mr. Rogers
and old hymns that sang me to sleep
but You didn't just live in my cookie cutter world
as I read, listen, and dive into
the stories of my students
I learn so much from the colors of their world
where Nikki Giovanni's phrase rings true
"Black Love is Black wealth"
where Carmen Tofolla's abuelo
passes down his wisdom like tools in his rusty toolbox
that she wasn't allowed to touch in "Mi Familia"
Langston Hughes speaks of rivers
and dreams of dancing in the sun
"to whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done."
hands raise that never would before
angry stories of getting followed in the mall
or women clutching purses and the
thunk, thunk of door locks as they walk down the street
Brent Staples says "Black men trade tales like this all the time"
we are studying multi-cultural America
but the room is the real textbook
each with their own unique story to tell
an FX television experiment chiseled at the walls
until they finally came together
"red and yellow, black and white
they are precious in Your sight"
Thank You for loving
and stepping into the stories
of all the children of the world
especially the ones in my classroom

"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God." Romans 15:7

"Day by day our lives are woven into a giant narrative, and every moment we become more and more the story of who we are. We are stories. And we only connect with other people when we know their stories. The more intimate we are, the more our stories intertwine . . . and each one of those stories, each one of those people, mattered so much to the Author of Life that he left heaven and began the dreadful trek to the cross . . . The storyteller entered the tale. The author stepped onto the page. The poet whose very words had written the cosmos became part of the text of this world." Steven James, Story

"The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood." John 1:14 (Msg)

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