Week 4 Reflection: These Hallowed Halls
A student asked me, "why are you a teacher, Mr. Robles? And why do you teach here?"
I told her the great biblical story of Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones. This prophet was called by God while he was a prisoner. His life was over; he was in jail. He had no foreseeable purpose or direction. He was sort of a loser, at the bottom of the barrel. Nobody cared about him; he had no family or friends. It was in his darkest moment that God lifted him up, brushed his shoulders off, recharged his battery, and outfitted him, and called him for a higher purpose.
God gave him a vision and a purpose and a calling. In that order! This prisoner would go boldly forward and bring a king to his knees.
But Ezekiel was not alone.
When Ezekiel was set free (both spiritually and physically, and perhaps mentally) God brought him out to a vast graveyard, a valley of dry bones. The place was ghastly and deathly quiet, until the Spirit of the Lord spoke:
"Can these dry bones live?" God asked.
"O, Lord," the old prophet replied. "Only you know."
Suddenly, the bones stirred. There was a mighty clamoring, a rattling of bones as they all came together. Ezekiel was amazed at the skeleton army before him. Yes, this story is biblical (and Halloween appropriate I might add).
"Can these dry bones live?" God asked again, as bones connected, forming arms and hands, heads rolling, spines slithering about.
"Only you know," said Ezekiel.
The prophet watched as the bones were wrapped in sinew, and muscle, and skin. He watched as eyes popped into sockets and muscle wrapped around the bone. Hair punched through skin. Men and women stood naked before him...
...but there was something missing.
"Can these dry bones live?" God whispered, and His whisper was like a tornado.
Ezekiel watched as the sky swirled above and God breathed life into these men and women. A light made of water and air and milk and honey flooded into them. They blinked and shuddered to life. Ezekiel's tattered robes fluttered and flapped; he shielded his face with his staff.
Ezekiel believed, but he was still having a hard time believing this mass resurrection before his eyes.
And yet, even with bone and muscle, skin and spirit, there was still something missing.
The people needed a teacher.
Ezekiel didn't have a smartboard or an IPAD. He didn't have a blackboard or chalk or an eraser. He didn't have textbooks, a curriculum, or lesson plans. He didn't have experience or credentials. But he did have a willingness to do it. He was ready, even though he didn't feel prepared. He had a Yes, Lord attitude. He had a "Here I am, send me!" attitude. And for God, that was more than enough. If the Bible taught me anything, it's that God can take a nobody and transform him into somebody who can inspire anybody.
"Why do you teach?" a student asked.
"Because I was born to do it," I replied. "Because I can't imagine doing anything else."
"Yes, but why do you teach here?" the student asked. I suppose when you're young, all you have are questions and not that many answers.
"Only you know," said Mr. Robles silently and thoughtfully, as he stood back and watched the Spirit of God move and shake students. Every day, I witness the Spirit of God at work here at Corpus Christi, as students are inspired to be their best, as this lowly teacher helps each student figure out his or her purpose, as students grow in love and understanding along these hallowed halls. I don't know why I teach here, but I believe that God is the Supreme Lord of our circumstances, and I am eternally grateful that God placed Corpus Christi, and all her students, along my path.
Week 4 Reflection