Our theme in the Kids Hope classroom for the month of March was hope. Each mentor and child received a clay pot, dug their hands in the dirt, and poked three round holes with their fingers for nasturtium seeds. Mentors and kids watered and checked in on their seedlings each week, discussing what it looks like to hope: that the outcome is not guaranteed, and that sometimes it’s as fun to hope for our own things as it is to be hopeful for others. We talked about how hard it is to wait for things we want, but that growth, like hope, often takes time. Now as we turn toward April and the seedlings lining our classroom windows reach toward the sun with all their might, we hope for blossoms.
The same is true in our journey with our students, most of them face challenges that can’t be “fixed” and don’t heal quickly. Growth and change don’t happen overnight…but often we catch glimpse of little green sprouts poking out of the darkness (children stringing together letters into words, and words into sentences, kids processing difficult issues with friends on the yard and using manners their mentors have modeled, kids growing in confidence and joy as they learn) and sometimes we suddently notice a bright beautiful bloom.
With the end of the school year fast approaching I thought it would be a good reminder for us to share these words from Oscar Romero: We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing this. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning.
As we wind down this school year, I'm reminded that really this is just a beginning. We are seed planters in this ministry of Kids Hope, not the master gardner.
"The person who looks for quick results in the seed planting of well-doing will be disappointed. If I want potatoes for dinner tomorrow, it will do me little good to go out and plant potatoes in my garden tonight. There are long stretches of darkness and invisibility and silence that separate planting and reaping. During the stretches of waiting there is cultivating and weeding and nurturing and planting still other seeds." -Traveling Light