Redemption: What’s the Cost?

During summer break, while catching up on some long over due music listening, I downloaded a song, “Worn” by Tenth Avenue North. Long after the song was over the lyrics reverberated in my heart. Odd timing: life is good, I’m not tired, I’m not worn, and I’m a long way from giving up.

I listened again (and again). The phrase, “let me see redemption win” was not letting go. Curiosity took the lead. I relented and let my mind and heart connect. What was the message? What was wisdom telling me? What was the connection to my life, my work, because it was clear the message had to do with work.

Eventually the image narrowed. The focus became clear.

Our students, not all , but some, come with brokenness. They may or may not have basic needs met. We can and do provide food, shelter, clothing. We do our best to ensure their safety. Yet there are those young souls who have all but given up.

I gave up counting the number of risk assessments done at my schools. Enough to know that the number of times youngsters articulated the desire to die was frequent. Years ago a 7 year old looked me square in my eyes, sighed, and said, ‘There is no place for me in this world”. They spoke it as fact – their truth. Heartbreaking truth. Do I need to include that this youngster did no ‘work’ at school, did their best to be removed from class daily? What did school matter to them, when life itself barely mattered?

Is there redemption? Can the frail hearts of our youngsters be rewoven? I believe with every fibre in my being that the answer is a resounding, YES!

The cost is heavy. The cost is part of our hearts. In a classroom it may mean welcoming the child who is pushing you away with all their might. It’s accepting that for a season, we may have to take off the ‘teacher’ hat and don the hat of  compassion, the cloak of empathy. In our schools it means working as a team. Supporting each other as we support our students.

It’s approaching teaching from the perspective of attachment, with a dose of Maslow.

There is a powerfulness in song that transcends all else. There is power in the thought that ‘a song can rise from the ashes of a broken life’.

For some this post will seem over the top. Melodramatic. My value will be minimized/devalued with the phrases, ‘she was a counsellor, she was a music teacher, she’s a she

Some will argue that we are at school to teach, not to redeem.

Thankfully most of our students are not the students of this song. Most are loved, know they belong, have safety, learn well, can create. Most are where they need to be to grow academically, socially, and emotionally. Thankfully most of our students are having their needs met.

But for those who are lacking, their lack grows daily. It is for these young hearts that mine breaks. Defeat is not an option. We carry on, we offer what we can, we care, we create, we connect.

“Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn”

It’s not new, not impossible. The cost begins with caring. Every. Single. Day.

The reward:

Life songs that soar with hope. Sometimes. Life. Period.

Carol

“Worn”

I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left
Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn
I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I’m too weak
Life just won’t let up
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left
Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m wornMy prayers are wearing thin
Yeah, I’m worn
Even before the day begins
Yeah, I’m worn
I’ve lost my will to fight
I’m worn
So, heaven come and flood my eyes

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause all that’s dead inside will be reborn

Though I’m worn
Yeah I’m worn

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