It’s the end of the day. I have survived my day of teaching a variety of subjects to multiple groups of middle school kids.
The last class I taught managed to get the room all cleaned up before first bell; you’ll understand the joy of this if you have ever had to teach art to students in a regular classroom setting. Desks are lined up; homework is written in agendas and appears to be going home with the children. Students are dismissed right after the second bell. This means that all students will be on time for making the bus. Phew!
I feel like a superhero who has just conquered the day.
Then I remember…my day isn’t done; there is another place where I need to go save the day. It requires nothing less than my Wonder Woman skills.
Orange looks good on me
I run to the office to grab my cape. Vainly, I quickly glance down at what I’m wearing. I remember now why I wear black all the time. The cape is orange and the black enhances the pretty fluorescent colour of the cape. It’s all about visibility!
Then I run to my purse and search out my mask. Thankfully, my sunglasses are quickly found. Not only does this make for a more mysterious presence, it also allows me to be more incognito.
As I rush out the door, I almost forget my shield. The job can’t be done without it. While it is not bronze or gold in colour, it is a glistening red and white. Mixed with my orange cape, it is sure to stop traffic.
Oh…wait a minute…I left out an important fact…it doesn’t always stop traffic. But it does help me DIRECT traffic so that children are safe, busses can get in and out of our parking lot, and the post school day can continue.
Do you linger, text, or drool?
Off I charge to the parking lot, to try save the day for parents trying to get their kids to their next endeavour in a civilized and safe manner, of course!
Thankfully, my presence is timely. Cars are lined up onto the road. A quick assessment of the parking lot reveals the following:
- Driverless Vehicle: my Wonder Woman mask quickly helps me locate the driver. A gentle reminder and smile alleviates the situation quickly. Crisis averted.
- Texting Vehicle: armed with my cape, a gentle knock on the window with a smile and point to the 50 m open gap in front of the vehicle brings a quick nod, apologetic look and thumbs up from the driver. Car moves up; crisis averted.
- Parent with eyes closed, motionless in vehicle: again, a quick, friendly, gentle knock on the window; a quick drool check from the driver and the car pulls ahead. Crisis averted.
- Same car waiting in drive-through lane for 15 minutes: this one requires my most courageous of tools…as pleasantly as possible, I use my shield to help point out some parking spots available in the third lane, receive a smiling nod and vehicle pulls around to park. Crisis averted.
- Car ignoring pointing shields directions: there are no tools for this one aside from eyebrow raising under mask. The busses need to get in. We need to keep vehicles moving through so Old Clayburn Road doesn’t get backed up. Crisis not averted.
Most valuable tool
3:10pm. The busses have left; students have cleared out and the parking lot is nearly vacated.
I breathe a sigh of relief, walk back inside and place my shield back in the office. I hang up my cape, and put my mask back in my purse. The one tool, my most valuable one, I keep with me…it is not in cape form, shield form, or mask form. It is in heart form. It is the tool of grace.
We all have things to do and places to be. We are all busy and have pressures around us to be here and there.
As we live in Christian community with each other, it is my prayer that the grace God provides us is also provided to each other…even in the parking lot as we pick up our kids, or direct traffic to ensure safe pick up of these gifts we have been given.
My day here is done now…time to put on my wife, mama, and chef apparel. I pray the recipients of this version of myself will also afford me grace and me them.