Monday, March 1, 2010

A Big Lesson From A Children's Book

When my 4th grade class switched to reading Heid.i by Johann.a Spry.ri, my excitement did not match the previous book. After all, we had spent weeks digging deeper into The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardr.obe, enjoying every new discovery or symbol. Heid.i seemed like a letdown after that book. Part of the problem was that my only exposure to the book consisted of a few scenes of the Shir.ley Temp.le movie version (which, by the way, is NOT a faithful rendition of the book).

Then to my great surprise, the old cliche, "you can't judge a book by its cover," began to apply. Heid.i is a charming tale that taught wonderful life lessons. It's an enjoyable read for any adult or 4th grader. While preparing for class one day, I came across this passage:

"Ah, that is a good thought of yours, Heidi," said the doctor. "But if it is God Himself who has sent the trouble, what can we say to Him then?"

Heidi sat pondering for a while; she was sure in her heart that God could help out of every trouble. She thought over her own experiences and then found her answer.

"Then you must wait," she said, "and keep on saying to yourself: God certainly knows of some happiness for us which He is going to bring out of the trouble, only we must have patience and not run away. And then all at once something happens and we see clearly ourselves that God has had some good thought in His mind all along; but because we cannot see things beforehand, and only know how dreadfully miserable we are, we think it is always going to be so."

"That is a beautiful faith, child, and be sure you hold it fast," replied the doctor. Then he sat on a while in silence, looking at the great overshadowing mountains and the green, sunlit valley below before he spoke again.
Needless to say, I was floored. The passage really spoke to my heart not only of Infertility's rough journey, but suffering and hardship in general. Additionally, the plight of not knowing if the present troubles will ever come to light or resolve. In the book, Heidi had stopped praying when God didn't answer her heartfelt prayers to return to her beloved home in the mountains. Thanks to the lessons from her friend's Grandmother, Heidi learned to pray with perseverance. I'll withhold further details in order to encourage you to read the book! :)

When we finished the book, I assigned the students a wrap-up sheet so they could tell me their opinions. One of the questions listed was: "How has Heid.i helped your Christian Faith?" The answers that I received touched my heart. Children really do have a lot of wisdom. Read and enjoy:
"Heidi has helped me understand the importance of helping others and praying for others."

"To put your faith and trust in God." (she must of known I need work in this department!)

"It taught me that sometimes things seem bad but God ALWAYS works bad things out for good."
Finally, my favorite answer, one that I need to post on my mirror for daily reading:
"It taught me that sometimes things seem bad but God always works bad things out for good."
The wisdom of children. The wisdom of a children's book. Amazing.
p.s. My hives cleared up very quickly; thanks for your wonderful advice about IF medication. :)


Living Advent said...

Thank you for this post! I was just feeling like a truck load of lemons was dumped on me and this was exactly what I needed to read.

I just realized that I still have yet to e-mail you about OR. Sorry about that. I'll e-mail you right now.

Maureen said...

What a wise and beautiful passage from the book. Yes, children sometimes speak with wisdom way beyond their years. Thank you for sharing all of this. Let us all strive to join God in making lemonade out of the lemons in our life.

This_Cross_I_Embrace said...

Wow, that truly is insightful- of both the author, and your students!

Thanks for sharing that- I love the teacher in you, how you refused to post more so that we go out and read the book :)

Jeremiah 29:11 said...

This happens to me all the time as a teacher! I love those moments. God is always speaking to us and teaching us.

John said...

wow, such wisdom! Your teaching really seems to be the kind of thing where you give a lot (your time, energy, etc.) and, in the giving, there are some real gems you get as a result... love you!

Anonymous said...

I haven't read that book in years. Seems like I may have it on the shelf somewhere...might have to give it a look again :).