by Michella Gonzales (33rd Batch)
I was in a roomful of 18 five-year old students. Each of them seemed to be doing well and everybody was seating quietly until a little boy pulled the hair of his seatmate. The other boy started to cry. Then two students stood up and told me they wanted to go to the toilet (which is prohibited). When I told them they couldn’t go, they started getting angry. Then some students stood up on the table and sang some songs. From quiet, lethargic students they transformed into a chaotic mob of tiny boys and girls. With all my might I tried to calm and ask the students to go back to their seats and be quiet. But then a little girl started shouting and said, “Teacher, shiro!” (which means “I don’t want to”). She was disturbing the class. Trying to ignore her, I asked all the students to stand up and sing a song, and I gave stickers to those who participated. But this girl remained in her chair and therefore lost her chance to have a sticker. That was when she started crying.
Throughout that day my mind was full of misery and pain because one girl hated me. I didn’t know what to do and the thought that we will never be friends again bothered me. I went to school the next day and could you guess who met me at the door? Yes, that same girl–with arms wide open waiting for a hug and a greeting kiss! She never mentioned the things that happened the day before. To her, it was as if nothing had happened.
If only us grown-ups could have the love of a five-year old! No wonder God said in Matthew 18:4,
“Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
As Adventists, we are proud to be commandment-keepers. But do we keep the greatest law of the universe? “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40
Now when faced with a vital question to love or to hate someone, I just think about this little girl who taught me to love and to forgive unconditionally.