While out on the trail for a walk, Shari told me this story from her day at work (as a school counselor). She said:
I was doing a presentation in a classroom today. We heard through the wall a kid’s voice yelling, “You effin…” The teacher quickly opened the door and went into the hallway. I figured she was going to stop the boy and give him a detention or send him to the office or something like that. But instead, she went up to him and said, “With strong words like that, I’m thinking someone needs a hug.” The teacher gave him a hug, and then came back inside the classroom.
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I love this story and I want to know more people like this teacher. I want to be like this teacher. What she did was unexpected, subversive, and all Jesus-y. On a much smaller scale, and with the stakes not as high, it reminds me of the woman caught in the act of adultery story in John chapter 8.
Love, not judgment. Care, not shame. Restoration, not retaliation.
Maybe you’ll encounter someone who needs a hug today too.