Hope with The Teachable Spirit

» Posted by on Jun 28, 2014 in teachable spirit | 0 comments

Hope with The Teachable Spirit

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he appears, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And everyone that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.

–I John 3:2-3

Roses and lilies on the casket of my Aunt Elma, late wife of my Uncle Owen, June 2014.

Roses and lilies on the casket of my Aunt Elma Rasmussen, late wife of my Uncle Owen, June 2014.

Understanding that our life here on this planet is fragile, but that we hope in our eternal condition, the teachable spirit yearns for the day when we will be like Yeshua (Jesus), so that we can stand in His presence.

Illustrating this idea is an original short story written by one of my students during my tenure teaching adult basic education (ABE) at Highline Community College.

Hope Among Roses

Flowers in the backyard of the host family for the wake of my aunt Elma, June 2014.

Flowers in the backyard of the host family for the wake of my Aunt Elma, June 2014.

The sun rises and I tilt my face toward it; its gentle warmth fills me. The morning dew touches my face; I open myself to it, and sip it up. My leaves of emerald green offset my petals of pretty tangerine pink, as I bask in the glory of being a rose among roses. I am always the first to awake here in this garden filled with blooms.

Tenderly, we are cared for daily by Celine, an old woman as graceful as this garden. Every morning she comes here and chooses those of us who she deems most beautiful to place throughout her home. That is why I wake early; I want to be among those chosen. From the moment I became a bud I have waited to be picked, but alas, the time has never come. I am beginning to wonder if it ever will.

Every morning, I practice my poses before she comes, and every night I sleep early to be sure in the morning I am composed, but still she overlooks me. I think of all the ones she has picked and wonder what they have that I do not? Nothing that I know of, so instead, I gather myself with perfect poise, and wait.

Lovely floral arrangement in the back yard of the home where my aunt Elma's wake was held, June 2014.

Lovely floral arrangement in the back yard of the home where my Aunt Elma‘s wake was held, June 2014.

Ahhh, here she comes now. She will put on her pretty pink gardening gloves and grab her snips, then she will start to hum. “Hello, my beauties,” she says. “How are you doing today? Oh, you are all so radiant, how do I choose?” she walks through the garden, stopping here and there to touch and examine us. “Snip, snip,” she has already picked two. Oh, my, she is coming this way! “Please, please, please, pick me,” I pray. She has noticed me! She stops and touches my petals. “Like silk,” she says. She checks me for aphids, little green bugs that attack our leaves and petals, then, “snip.”

At last, I am her chosen!

But now I feel like I am getting tired. Oh, no, what have I done? I was not thinking! She has clipped me from my life source; now I am dying. How stupid I have been, to want this!

She takes us inside, and dumps us in the sink. Now it is raining; no, not raining. This water is coming from a different source. Ahhh, but it feels nice. She trims us, then arranges us in an old water pot. I am sure we all look beautiful, but we are dying now in our glory; when before, we lived in it. Ah, well; what is that I have heard humans say? “Be careful what you wish for?” That’s it. Oh, how true it is. Now I have nothing left to live for

My mom, Joan Rasmussen, leans her head over to speak to my dad at the wake of my late aunt Elma, June 2014.

My mom, Joan Rasmussen, leans her head over to speak to my dad at the wake of my late Aunt Elma, June 2014.

anyway. Before it was being chosen; now, I just want to be. Too late now, I will just pose nicely and hope for a smooth end.

It has been a week; my petals are changing to a brownish color, and my head droops. This must be the end. My head hangs down. She comes and takes me out of the pot and slips me between the pages of a book where I lay dying, breathing my last breath, hoping for someone to discover my fragile timelessness.

–Nicole K. Carnel, Highline Community College, 2006

The teachable spirit longs for the adoption of the sons of men, as scripture promises, much like this rose longed to be chosen.

My uncle Owen pays his final respects to his wife, Elma, by putting a rose on her casket, June 2014.

My Uncle Owen pays his final respects to his wife, Elma, by putting a rose on her casket, June 2014.

And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we are saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. –Romans 8:23-25

The remaining siblings of ten, left to right: my uncle Owen, 95, my aunt Betty, 90, and my father, Melvin O. Rasmussen, June 2014.

The remaining siblings of ten, left to right: my Uncle Owen, 95, my Aunt Betty, 90, and my father, Melvin O. Rasmussen, June 2014.

We have no understanding of what life will be like when we see His face, but we know that it will be beyond our imagination. Having this hope is what keeps the teachable spirit pure.

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