Hope you have all survived finals week. As a way of celebrating the end of the semester, we are taking a road trip to the Spaghetti Factory in
Now For Sami's Ramblings About Jesus:
Many of you have finished for the semester. Some of you have an exam or two left. The fact is that the semester is drawing to a close. Can you believe it's here? Hard to imagine since it seems like yesterday we were just beginning. Just yesterday it seems I was walking up the hill with a big belly full of baby, yet today Isaiah Wesley is six months old. Wow. Time flies when you're having fun. Or that's what they say. . . .
Speaking of time flying, I was reminiscing about high school this morning as I was getting ready for the day. In particular I was remembering one of the most influential teachers I ever had. Her name was Mrs. Bauersachs; many of us just called her Mrs. B. I have yet to see another like her in public education. She lived her faith in such a profound way that it spilled all over her students. I guess what I remember most is that I loved her classes (she taught English and writing). She went out of her way to make students feel at ease. Before our exams she always tried to "do a little dance" beforehand, usually telling a joke to relieve our anxieties and help us lighten up. I always appreciated that she genuinely tried to make us laugh. Not many teachers did that—most of my other teachers were too wrapped up in teaching their curriculum to see that laughter mattered. Perhaps the thing that imprinted itself on my person more than anything else is the day that Mrs. B said, "Do whatever you want to in life, just love." I found in her statement a profound encouragement to live the life one longs for, rather than falling into someone else's dreams, but also an imperative that really is imperative. She taught us that love is important business.
And it wasn't just her words that emphasized the importance of love, her life demonstrated it too. Mrs. B. was in charge of organizing the spring talent show. Going against school tradition she allowed some students in a rock band to enter. These were the kind of students that everyone else had all given up on. But she believed in them and allowed them the same kinds of opportunities as the more "acceptable" kids. Unfortunately, the young men broke the dress code and performed in sleeveless t-shirts that were cut completely up the sides. Their band was disqualified. I had her class afterward. I'll never forget the scene that unfolded when there was a knock at her classroom door during that period. In stepped the same student whom she had taken a chance on and had broken the rules. With as much sincerity as I've ever seen in a teenage young man, he simply said, "I'm sorry." And with tears in her eyes she forgave him.
Don't ever think that love isn't costly. That was her last year at my high school. I guess love was too radical for the administration to handle, because they fired her. And I know she left heartbroken, because when she packed up her room at the end of the year, I tried to help her. She didn't much want help. My last memories of her leave an ache in my heart.
But heartache is not her legacy; love is. My time with her cemented something in me that longs to live Love. No matter the cost. For those of you who have received these e-mails for a while, you probably recognized a theme a long time ago. Every message I feel God gives me to give revolves around, centers around, finds its beginning and ending and being in Love, God's Love. My heart is to do for everyone who will listen what Mrs. Bauersachs did for me: bestow love on each person as a beautiful child of a Living and Good God. God loves you. Every fiber of my being tells me so.
So go forth into this new season, this summer break. Do whatever you want to—just love. Live in Love. And know how powerfully Love calls your name. And wherever you are Mrs. Bauersachs, thank you.
Rev. Sami Wilson
WKU Wesley Foundation
1355 College St.
Bowling Green, KY 42101