About a week ago, J., the special education student in my class, got upset over something and refused to come into the classroom after P.E. I don’t know what set him off, but our behavioral intervention aide was outside when we were coming in and saw J. standing under a tree. He went over and said, “Come on J. It’s time to go in.” J. just stood there. The aide tried again, “Come on let’s go with your class. ” J. stubbornly refused to move. The aide asked him, “What’s wrong?” Again there was no response. J. just stood there.
I was heading into the room, and the kids were trickling in from getting drinks and using the restroom so I didn’t know that J. was out under the tree. We had this situation once before, but J.’s mom came down and sat with him for the remainder of the day. After a few minutes I noticed that J. wasn’t in the room, but I saw him standing by the door and the aide was talking to him. I thought they were just chatting, but several minutes passed and he didn’t come in. Through the window I could see him out on the playground, and sure enough the aide eventually came to me saying that J. was refusing to come in so his mom was coming to get him.
I stepped out the door and said, “Hey J. what’s going on?” He turned his back on me. I patted him on the shoulder and gently turned him around so I could see his face and said, “J. I’m here to help you, but I can’t help you unless you tell me what’s going on. Did someone tease you or do something that upset you.” He literally closed his eyes and refused to even say anything to me.
The rejection stung, and inwardly I prayed. “God, I want to help this child, but how can I help him if he won’t even look at me or talk to me?” The Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “I understand your pain. I died for people and they won’t even look to me. They won’t pray. They won’t read my word. They won’t turn to me for the help that they need.”
Eventually J. went home. I wasn’t able to help him that day, but I got a very minute taste of what Christ must feel when we won’t look to him or when we refuse to read his word because we are angry about life’s circumstances. Just as I can’t help J. without his cooperation, God can’t help us unless we allow him to.