Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Learning from Students

My student asks, “You mean the bible’s not all written by one person? You mean it’s all different people? “ I can see her wonder, her perception of this Book shattered. It’s not neat anymore.

“Yes, it’s all different writers,” I say. “Over more than a thousand years.” The class is sitting in a circle, spring sunshine warming us through bright windows. We’ve just read some of Exodus, and are part way through the Gospel of Mark. It’s all becoming real. It’s all becoming complicated.

“It’s a conversation,” says another student. He's chewing gum. Doesn't think I notice.

“About God,” someone adds. “And with God.” They’ve been listening.

I can see the first student thinking about it.

“It’s a conversation that’s still going on,” I add. “We’re part of it. Together.”

“But everyone thinks differently about God!”

I laugh. “Yes, that’s the point. God is big. Too big for any one of us to understand. All we can do is feel that presence. Every single one of us. And reach out to God through and with each other.”

The bell rings, time to leave, to think of other things.

I leave wondering if my students actually learned anything from me today. But I know one thing. Today I had a conversation with God.

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