Friday, September 04, 2009

Presents of Presence

nine years of teaching in the public schools
a calling to sprint underwater
conduct an orchestra in handcuffs
or tie my shoes with my teeth
and, oddly enough, I loved it.
Even more astonishing, I was beginning to miss it
those metamorphosis moments
springboarding from my simple love for them
those wide eyes that finally get that they matter to someone
those beaming grins after the blank paper is filled
Then I snap out of the little misty daydreams
and find myself sitting in a puddle of guilt
painting pictures of Egypt after arriving in the Promised Land
So once again You came along
with another gift I didn't know I needed.
1 class, 18 students, and a breathless freedom to speak of You
Nine years of censoring myself
square peg round hole to to fit into the fragmented box of law
dancing with euphemisms like a monkey in a hat
An alternate universe
Where the power of the Holy Spirit was just their "conscience"
when Mt. Sinai's stone tablets
were buried more like tombstones as "morals to the story"
Christ figure characters imprisoned by "Protagonist" boxes
Epic parable allusions boiled down to "literary devices"
and the greatest story and theme of all time
was left unsaid, untaught, and raging inside me.
And those after-class conversations when I slipped,
couldn't help msyelf, broke the rules and mentioned You
only led to a trip to the Principal's office
and a peach-colored warning sheet I had to sign.
Me, the straight A good girl, somehow the new rebel in school.
Nine years of teaching in a straight jacket.
Until now
This one class at a Christian College,
when the duct tape comes off the mouth
the straight jacket untied, unbelted, removed
You're no longer the elephant in the room
but the subject of the study
intermingled and touching everything
like fall campus winds or long stringy spaghetti
when I can hold the Bible like a pop-up book stage
where Your storytelling brilliance finally comes alive
when the true theatre of Your word
meets the fantasy of the stage
in a mind-blowing dance of artful ministry
and I can't help but look up to thank You
for the freedom to speak my mind
a new playground to speak Your heart
for the presents of Your presence
acknowledged, unfettered, and arms out
like dancing in the sun.

"All to often we are giving children cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants."---John W. Gardner

"Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ." Acts 28:31

"Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ." Acts 5:42


Rhonda Owens said...

SO excited for your new opportunity!! Your description totally makes ME want to take your class!! Enjoy the freedom! What exactly is the title of your class?

Kristin Baker said...

Thanks, Rhonda! It's just an Intro. to Theatre class, but it's so fun to teach in a Christian setting! I'm lovin' it!