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Blessed be our teachers

Because you lack inexperience, 'let a child teach you'

By Carolyn Pogue

Right in the centre of Canada lives an artist and author I haven't yet met but who inspires me, makes me laugh and broadens my vision of the world. A shaman, he might be; he sees what most of us cannot.

Bob Haverluck has three new books this year to challenge and uplift us: When God Was Flesh and Wild, The King of Bigger and More, and Little Sparrows See God Fall. Even the titles give you a clue about what they contain. The books are being sold through the Centre for Christian Studies in Winnipeg. Bob is donating his royalties to them.

My husband Bill knows him and periodically gives me one of his cards or books. Last year, he presented me with a wondrous print. It hangs in our entrance hall, greeting visitors with whimsy and profound wisdom alike. The print, titled "Inexperience," has this text beneath the painting:

"Because you lack the inexperience for the job of walking among trees on the waters edge, take a child with you. They will teach you to slowly go, stop, be taken in by a leaf, a minnow bone, a water song, a wet green stone. Because you lack the inexperience for the job, let a child teach you."                             

Child Well-Being Initiative doll. Photo by Carolyn Pogue
Child Well-Being Initiative doll. Photo by Carolyn Pogue
All year long, I've had that inspiring print to encourage my writing and planning for a conference on child poverty. As you know, it can be discouraging work. And yet, maybe it seems discouraging because I lack the inexperience of a child.

As we prepare once again to welcome the Bethlehem child into our hearts, and promise to love, honour and obey him, my wish is that we recall how precious that inexperience is. Lest we forget, we need our teachers. So:

Let not the child be hungry, for hungry children are distracted.

Let not the child be homeless, for then you will not know if you must look under a bridge or in a church basement shelter to find your teacher.

Let not the child have parents who must work two or three jobs, for then the child may be too sad to teach.

Let not the child lack clean drinking water, for then the child will not be healthy enough to take you on as a student.

Blessed be the children, our teachers.

Blessed be the wise ones who seek justice for our teachers.

And, blessed be you connected throughout the world by technology and hope.

Author's photo
Carolyn Pogue is a longtime Observer contributor. New posts of The Pogue Blog will appear on the first and third Thursday of the month. For more information on Carolyn Pogue, visit www.carolynpogue.ca..
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