Kind of Like Baseball, Part 2

Anyone who lived in Seattle during the magical 1995 baseball season will remember “the Sheriff,” Norm Charlton. Arriving midseason, he had been one of the Cincinnati Reds “Nasty Boys” who delivered a sense of invincibility along with his fastball.

He would stride out to the mound with his thumbs in his waistband, and no matter how many runners were on base or how many outs there were, he was the old west sheriff, come to town to set things right. I remember one game that was so intense that the bill on one pitcher’s cap was soaked through with sweat, even though it was a cool fall night. Norm Charlton, however, seemed to have a secret reserve of calmness and strength that he could draw from. Reaching deep, deep down, he’d simply throw the fastballs in the right spot and get the job done.

Christian teachers seem to have this same kind of secret well. Drawing from their knowledge that every child–every child–is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and believing that he has a plan for that child (Jeremiah 29:11), and knowing that God’s own Son was sacrificed because he loves each and every one of us so much (John 3:16), Christians who work with kids have extra reason to hope that their work makes a difference. That they can’t give up. Even when one of those children throws a fit or a chair!

The best part of being a Christian who works with kids, even in settings where (as I said in Part 1), of course and appropriately, we are not speaking of Christ evangelistically, is that we know that we are not alone in that room with a difficult child. There is God’s own Holy Spirit present with us, giving us love, patience, hope, and peace that passes all understanding.

Teaching friends, may you, like Norm Charlton, draw deep from your reserves of strength this upcoming year! Is there a time when you felt God was present with you in a difficult situation? Encourage us by sharing it in the comments!

About Sonja Anderson

I write novels and short stories for children, and occasionally a book or article for adults, too. I grew up in Ohio, and I have lived in Chicago, Connecticut, Boston, Tokyo, and Seattle. The beautiful Pacific Northwest inspires me every day.
This entry was posted in Baseball, Diversity, School and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Kind of Like Baseball, Part 2

  1. Elaine says:

    Thanks for the inspiration before the start of a new school year…I think it was just what I needed, especially when I think about having 24-25 children in my 1st grade classroom.
    Sonja, is it okay if I share your blog with a teacher friend of mine … I know she’d appreciate your words of wisdom.


    • Please share it! I’m honored. I think I wrote it as much for myself as for anyone else, because working with kids is definitely a challenge, even when they’re great and everything’s going well!


  2. Jean Mohrweis says:

    I have three cousins who all teach in the same public elementary school. They are loving Christian women and Christ shines through them in the care and concern that they take for their students. At one point they were in a Private Christian school, but I think God has used them much better in this situation!


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