“My brothers shun me like a bum off the street . . .” (Psalms 69:8, MSG)
I was so excited the day I began kindergarten. I couldn’t wait to meet the other kids and make friends. It’s true, I was also a bit nervous to leave my mom behind. For the first time in my life I would not be with her.
Kindergarten did not quite meet up to my expectations, however. I couldn’t understand a word, for one thing, either from my teacher of from my fellow classmates. They were all talking gibberish! Was this a joke? But no. Day after day they kept on talking this incomprehensible language. It wasn’t a joke at all! It wad reality! Why did my parents send me here?
At home we spoke French, but as we were living on the Dutch side of Belgium, Dutch was the official language at school. Sadly I had never heard this language before, even though I lived in the Dutch side of my own country!
My teacher was often mad at me for not following her instructions. My fellow students often laughed at me as if I was the most stupid kid in the Flanders, and maybe I was. At least these children understood what was said and I didn’t! There must be something very wrong with me!
My teacher would put problem kids under her desk, and I found myself there often. One day I got so frustrated for being put there yet again when I didn’t even know what I had done wrong that I did the unthinkable. After all, I had been punished for something, why not make certain that it would be well-deserved? I swiped the teacher’s bell and started to ring it.
The children in the classroom started to laugh hysterically. My teacher grabbed my ear in her hand and pulled me out of my dark dungeon. I had never seen her so red in her face. She kept on holding my ear as if it was a price possession as she marched me to the principal’s office.
There again, I couldn’t understand what he said. My mom was called to come to the principal’s office immediately. That was when the teacher realised that there was a language barrier, and after that I was treated with more compassion. Before leaving the principal’s office, I grabbed his hand and said in French: “Don’t worry. I will never do this again!” I certainly kept my promise.
Interestingly enough, when I first arrived at school, I felt completely stupid. Why couldn’t I understand what other people said? Why couldn’t I make any friends? Was I so repulsive? I felt like a beggar sleeping alone underneath a dirty bridge. I wished I could disappear!
When finally someone realized, however, that I couldn’t understand Dutch, and my teacher started to patiently teach me Dutch, I felt like I had been promoted. I felt like royalty. My teacher cared for me after all, and i did my best to learn that language. I wanted my teacher to be proud of me.
Some of you who read this have had similar situations where you felt completely stupid and unwanted. Maybe it still happens. Don’t ever give up. You don’t have to remain a reject. Our Heavenly Father loves you, and He has great plans for you, plans that will make you feel like royalty, which you are, as you are a son or daughter of the Most High! He brought me out of the miry clay and into a bright future. He will do the same for you: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” (Jer 29:11, NIV2)
Have you ever been stuck under your teacher’s desk? Don’t worry about it. Our Father will see you through to a brighter future!
(To access the entire “Dragon Tramps or Kingdom Heirs” devotional series, please click here.)