Heathdale flower 22nd June 2023

I Wanna Be Somebody

Each day, our staff begin sharing something from the Bible. Ross shares a poem from a past staff member that reminds him of our deeper calling.

Heathdale flower

One of the practices we have at Heathdale is for the staff to gather each morning before the school day starts staff devotions. Each day of the week a different staff member (teaching or non-teaching) will bring either a reading from The Bible, a reflection on a specific passage or theme in The Bible or something they believe God would have them say to their colleagues. I must admit I really enjoy this time, hearing the richness of each devotions as each staff member reflect their different personalities in our community. I also like this time as it says to me that as we gather, we want to hear from and be led by God. To date He has never let us down!

As I was listening recently to a staff member tell their story of being a follower of Jesus I had a flashback to my previous school where we had the same practice each morning.

One of the secondary teachers, Hannah, spoke about her family’s love for, and writing of, poetry. She proceeded to read a poem that she had crafted. As I listened to Hannah’s introductory words, she spoke of the privilege it is for staff to share things of faith with their students. This is a unique aspect of work at Heathdale we share with my previous school. Hannah, as our staff do also, defined her position as a teacher as a higher calling than just being an employee. These words struck a strong chord in me. It caused me to recall what I have been reflecting over recently; on the power of knowing God’s grace deep within our souls.

As we grow in this understanding it enables us to have an incredible sense of rest deep within our souls and I believe that a further outworking of this is that we are then able to be used by God to bring His presence into all moments.

With this in mind I’d like to share Hannah’s poem with you. As you read it, allow Hannah’s words to wash over you and enable you to hear her heart and the heart of the staff; this represents their desire to bring God’s presence into this community, which is a strong foundation also of the Heathdale community.

I wanna be somebody.

In a place where I can teach, share the things that I know,

Fill the spaces with things that I hold dear and speak words into the minds of those who want to hear, me- why me?

I wanna be a teacher, who thinks of every student, every child as a gift, every lesson as a chance

To live out my faith, teach the good things in life, teach the calm and the strife, teach the strong and the weak

To teach from the heart, teach the good and the tough, know that things are not lost, be the best I can be

Be the first and the last, be what God wants me to be, to hold fast, to take time, to spend time, in prayer and in life

With these students, the ones who make us shine, the ones who make us learn, about their ways of life, about their ways of doing

The things that they like to do, the ways they like to do, say the things that they like, no matter, no worry

God, see me as a source, to be shared, to be sharing, all that I know, all that I want, all that I see, with the kids who don’t see, or know, or think or want

What do they want? To create, to celebrate, to navigate the ways of the world

Might I be a light, to guide them on their way, to help them fix what is wrong, to find what is right

To plant a seed, a small seed of faith, faith to be shared, faith to be taught, faith to be lived

A seed that will grow, of its own free will, in a way that it can, could I help it grow?

Could I help find the key, unlock what they want, unlock what they love, what would I uncover?

Would they want me to see, would they happily show, all the things that they know, will they want me to look?

God help me to see, see the light in their lives, see them as they see me, as another one, of yours, of precious things that you grow and all that you know. Do I really know them

Lord help me work to be light, and shade when they need, to be the one that they call, be the one that they see, in me is you.

Will you find me a place, where I wanna be, a teacher, somebody they see, where they will see you.

I particularly loved the line “God, see me as a source, to be shared, to be sharing, all that I know, all that I want, all that I see…”

These words reminded me of what Paul wrote to the Ephesians in trying to encourage them to continue to be a people of God. As such, they will be a people who will walk in His ways; a people who will act according to His calling; a people who will bring His presence into their everyday lives.

“When we trust in him, we're free to say whatever needs to be said, bold to go wherever we need to go. So don't let my present trouble on your behalf get you down. Be proud! My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit--not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength.” Ephesians 3:15 &16 (The Message)

Our desire as for each student and their family is that each may know and experience God’s strengthening in our inner beings, in our souls. As we experience this blessing, this will enable God to work in us and through us individually and as a community.

As we conclude Term Two, I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you well over this Winter break and may you know God’s hand of protection and safety over the next three weeks.