“entertaining angels”

Today I happened to go to a colleague’s classroom, and I immediately feltbags because she was in the midst of putting down the kind of minor altercation that occasionally breaks out in a room full of little kids.  It wasn’t serious — no genuinely harmful behavior or injury occurred.  But there might have been a verbal remark or two, and possibly a raised voice.  Perhaps there was even – gasp – a old shoulder.

To hear some of my colleagues tell it, even these little acts are potentially the ruin of a kid.  I see Em as another sign that a kid is growing up — they’re experimenting with social discourse and power dynamics and so on.  Typical stuff.

I reminded by colleague of something I’d originally read on John Michael Greer’s site, about how so many people  think of children as being more “evolved,” by which they maybe mean more rational or more spiritual. I think, as did Greer, that such adults haven’t spent much time with kids lately.And yet, as the semi-anonymous author of Hebrews 13:2 wrote, some of us have entertained angels unawares.

The verse has been bouncing in my head since early this morning, partly because I have been entertaining angels.  I found a small ornament given at Christmas from a kid’s family of an angel, and I hung it up at home today.  Before the weather changed itwas adding a sparkle of sunlight to my office earlier this day, before sunset.  And I’ve been reading about angels in preparation for this cycle of poems I’m writing about stars… they just seem to be showilately of late, usually in powerful ways.

Kids aren’t angels, at least not all the time.  But we grant them hospitality and stick up for them all the same. It’s part of our agreement to be teachers.  They’re strangers and fellow travelers on this planet with us, the next generation of cosmonauts on Spaceship Earth, and from time to time they carry messages to us from Mission Control.

It is a useful reminder that we have our own connection to Mission Control, too, and we should make a point of listening in on that channel at times.

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