By Josh Dyson, Classical School of Wichita
Education in the Storm: An Encouragement to Parents in the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey
As a native Texan I right now sit 500 miles away from my hometown of Houston. And having lived through the flooding of tropical storm Allison, I remember how bad things can get. From what I am told those conditions were surpassed less than halfway through this storm. So now I sit, knowing the devastation that is happening at this moment, knowing the immense effort that will be required to restore, and knowing the heart-brokenness that is being experienced by millions right now, many of them my friends, family, and old neighbors.
As I’ve been pondering “What can I do about this devastation? What can I do to help those in need?” I have realized that right now there is not much to do but wait for the waters to subside and to pray for those who are waiting but also wondering what will be left to return to and what it will take to restore it.
So what can I do from Wichita, Kansas, writing on a blog that focuses on education? What occurred to me was that perhaps I could give an encouragement to you all who might be bunkered up in your home with your children, occupying a friend’s spare bedroom, or sitting around on cots or on the floor of a shelter, waiting. My encouragement to you is to ponder ways that you might educate your children through the storm.
There are three things that I could think of to ponder and discuss with your children. I’m sure you can think of many others. Here they are in no particular order:
- The power of the storm shows the power of our God. The heart of this question is not whether God is the One causing the storm or simply allowing it, but the heart of the question is more of an analogy of power. Consider the storm, as we might hear God saying to Job, and we get a glimpse into just how powerful God is. If a hurricane is as powerful as we have seen in its wind and its rains, what power must God possess? This morning as I went on an early morning run, the Lord blessed me with a masterpiece of his hand—the stars in full array. I was struck, as I often am, that I can do nothing to control the stars in the slightest. They are the work of God’s hand and are at his command. That is humbling. As we look at this storm, we are forced to recognize the same truth with humility.
- God has put goodness in the heart of man. This is not to say that man is good. We know from experience and from the Scriptures that man is not good. But on the other hand, we know from experience and the Scriptures that goodness and love does reside somewhere in the hearts of men. We are seeing many people risk their lives for the sake of others. Many of these people who have gone out risking their lives don’t actually know the Lord in a personal way, but still we see a semblance of Christ-likeness in them. At the same time we also see that man is worth saving. People are worth dying for. We see this in the cross of Christ, as Jesus shows us that no greater love is this than to lay one’s life down for their friend (John 15.13). Why is it that man is able to love and is worth loving? Because God has put His image, His mark, His imprint on each one of us.
- You must homeschool your children. With schools closed, and the amount of time you’re spending with your children, hopefully you are getting the opportunity to homeschool your children. For some of you, I hope this encourages you to consider homeschooling on a long-term basis. While I am actually a stronger supporter of Christian educational institutions in the classical model, I believe that homeschooling, when done well by Christian parents, is a great option for your children. But the reality is this: whether your child is homeschooled all day, goes to a government school, or attends a private school, it is your responsibility to homeschool them. We are allowed by the scriptures to recruit help from our communities to assist us in raising up our children, but we are not allowed to abdicate our role as chief educators of our children. Deuteronomy 6 gives us guidance in very simple terms of how we might do that and what that could look like and your family (Deut. 6.4-9). What are the conversations that you are having with your children “as you go” even now? What will your responses be when asked “what was the meaning of Hurricane Harvey? (cp. Deut. 6.20-25)
I know as a parent I often let great “teaching moments” for my children pass without taking advantage of them. In the midst of all this chaos, sorting out what’s been lost, and figuring out what can be restored and how, don’t forget to take a moment from time to time to educate your child about the meaning of these things.
Photo Credit: ABC News