I gently lifted the blue construction paper that had been folded into a sympathy card and hung on the Campus Minister’s door at school. One of the well wishes jumped off the page as though it was spring loaded. There must have been nearly one hundred students who had signed the card, words of love and affection were so tightly woven together that each one touched another. Some were scrawled in pencil by first graders who had yet to be “penned”; others scripted fancifully by middle school students in brightly colored markers. But one of them I will never forget. Out of the mouths of babes….
The Campus Minister’s sister-in-law had been killed in car accident, leaving behind a husband and two young kids. What do you say? As it turns out there are some things only a child can say. Everything gets better. I recognized the truth on the page like a long lost friend in a crowd of strangers; hope swelled and moved within me like a bubble of oxygen rising from the dark depths of the ocean to the bright blue light of a new day. Yes! Everything, Gets better.
It had been a brutal week, a February filled with illnesses and absences and snow days that had all taken their toll. Plans and procedures lay crumpled on the floor, kicked aside and trampled underfoot. We were all weary from the disruption to our routines. Standing spent in front of the Campus Minister’s door on a Friday afternoon, the words meant for someone else brought me balm in round loopy letters, soothing the chaffed spots. Everything gets better…
For a couple of weeks now I’ve been collecting quotes my students say and write, words that inspire me. Too much time has been spent dwelling on the negative. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things, Phil 4:8.
Quotes like “Hope is like time travel”, “Engage don’t invade”, and “Everything gets better” will fill my classroom. I’ll print them in fancy colors and various fonts and then get the students to sign them. Then I’ll hang them on the wall where I can stand amidst the scattered papers and read them like a giant Get Well card when I’m feeling discouraged. At least that’s my plan.
- Make God Laugh – Tell Him your plans!
- Take a few minutes and create a pretty reminder to leave lying around your own life: Everything Get’s Better! Promise.