My wife shared the sweetest story with me a few weeks ago that I want to share with you. To set the stage, Whitney has the same class this year as she had last year. It is called “looping.” They have become a tight knit family, and she loves them as much as they love her. She informed her class of twenty second graders that they would have a substitute teacher on Thursday and Friday before Spring Break. They ALL had questions about where she was going and why she wouldn’t be there, but one of her shy girls said, “well…then I’m not coming to school if you aren’t going to be there.” (You have to realize that the majority of her class is Hispanic and is the sweetest class ever with the most precious little Spanish accents so as you read this, try speaking in a Spanish accent.) Her class is never thrilled when “Mrs. Pruitt” has to be gone. Whitney also informed the school nurse that she was going to be out a couple of days so get ready. The school nurse has a steady flow of Mrs. Pruitt’s children when a substitute is called in. Why, you might ask? They come in with ailments such as “my head just doesn’t feel right”, “my heart is aching,” “my brain just won’t work today,” “my tummy hurts because I just miss Mrs. Pruitt…when is she coming back?”
They are all Big Huggers, and if you give one hug, you have to give them all a hug. One little boy has been giving her a hug at the end of every day for nearly two years. After she told them that she would be gone for two days, he not only gave her a hug, but he held her face and said, “I will REALLY miss you, Mrs. Prooooitt, come back safely to be with us.” Did you hear what he was saying? “To be with us.”
That is one class that has taught me volumes of the importance of PRESENCE from the one who deeply loves us, guides us, teaches us, and loves us through this journey of life. Read the bond between Moses and God in Exodus 33:11-17 and see if you experience many similarities in Mrs. Pruitt’s class and her students. They don’t want to go anywhere without the presence of their teacher.
15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.”