Coming to grips with our humanness.

Recently, I awoke with a statement running through my dream, “Coming to grips with our humanness.” In the dream, I saw one of my students holding the small green and navy blue airplane he gave to me a couple of weeks ago. The airplane propeller has a rubber band attached and my students love to wind it and then let go to see the airplane move forward in tiny jerks.

I vividly remember the day he gave the airplane to me.

“Mrs. Luna, which one do you want?” I looked up to see this tall, lanky youth with a smile stretched across his face. His eyes sparkled, and he held a wooden model in each hand opened palms up. 

I could see a navy blue airplane in one hand and a black and yellow helicopter in the other.

“Did you make these?” I crooned.

“Yes, these are models I put together and I want you to have one. You can choose.”

Although the helicopter was adorable, I knew my choice was the plane. It reminded me of the little black and green plane on the writing bulletin board in my classroom. Also seen in a dream, this plane pulled the words up into the air, “How to get an essay off the ground.” The dream provided secrets for inspiring self-expression in youth as well as displaying tips for organizing writing from a Write for the Future training I had attended (Thinking Maps Inc.).

Every year since that dream, I have witnessed the resiliency of the human soul to turn from despair and embrace hope when writing becomes a part of a student’s life.

This morning, I pondered the dream and the student who appeared in the dream. He is someone who has come to grips with his humanness. Many of his teachers, including me, worried about his success this year. He has so many challenges to overcome. In the beginning of the year, He popped up from his chair like popcorn in a hot skillet. I groaned when he wandered around the room (every five minutes). I huffed when he argued with me about having to read. I moaned as he challenged my instructions.

Yet now only two months into the new school year, this remarkable young man has flourished. He begs to take books home to read them and then returns and passes most of the tests. If he doesn’t, he studies the books until he does. His reading level has already increased more than the points expected after a year.

From this inspired young man, I have learned what can happen if a person accepts his or her limitations and then tries like mad to pursue desired goals.

Recently he approached me with a request, “Can I be the captain of the Creativity Club? (I’m starting one that will meet at lunch and after school to explore writing and other artistic projects). I will buy some kits for these airplane models and teach others how to make them.”

I googled the phrase that visited me in my dream, “Coming to grips with our humanness.” I only found one result and it was a sermon by Rev. Dr. Keith Wagner, D.Min. Pastor titled “Do You Have the Christmas Spirit?” – Mark 1:1-8 – December 4, 2004.

Although the entire sermon is amazing, here are two of my favorite lines quite fitting for this theme:

“Humility is not always an easy attribute to grasp. It requires emptying oneself, coming to grips with our humanness and our finitude…

The spirit of God cannot enter our souls until we are willing to humble ourselves and learn that we are mere mortals, in need of a powerful and eternal God.”

In the days ahead, I will remember the message of this dream, to acknowledge my humanness and finitude so that God’s power can enter my soul. I will also think about the little green and navy blue plane and a special student whose resilience inspires me to soar above my human limitations.

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About JoDee Luna

“I’m lost in a love affair with portrait painting!” JoDee Luna confesses. This author, artist, and educator describes herself as a creative eclectic due to her diverse history, multiple talents, and various career pursuits. She enjoys a host of creative expressions: mixed media, mask making, floral designing, photography, sculpture, and gardening. JoDee believes the creative process infuses her with the courage to try on new artistic identities, take inspired risks, and explore imaginative ideas. She seeks to share her insights with others through her book, Refrain from the Identical: Insight and Inspiration for Creative Eclectics and website by the same name, http://refrainfromtheidentical.com. Both provide helpful tips and inspiration for artistic multi-taskers, those who enjoy various forms of artistic expression.
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7 Responses to Coming to grips with our humanness.

  1. flyinggma says:

    One of the things I love most about the small Cessna I fly is there is no room in my mind or plane for this world’s worries. I have to leave them on the ground. When I fly I can appreciate God’s creation from a new perspective. I love the gift of the airplane your student gave you and imagining his hands creating it with love and appreciation for his teacher. Our prayer this morning at bible study was that others would see less of us and more of Christ as we go about our daily lives.

    • JoDee Luna says:

      flyinggma, I can envision what you described, “…there is no room in my mind or plane for this world’s worries.” What a wonderful way to describe your passion for flying. Whenever I fly, of course commercially for me, I’m reminded of how insignificant my worries truly are in the light of God’s greatness. Thank you for the fantastic comment.

  2. duke1959 says:

    First of all I used to have one of those planes. You are so right about ones humanness. It very often the small things that show just how humane someone is. It’s never about the big stuff in life.

    • JoDee Luna says:

      Duke, I agree with what you wrote about the small things. I just wish I had this awareness every day. I so often miss what is most important because what is most important is seldom what is most popular with our culture.

  3. duke1959 says:

    There is also the sense in our culture that its the big things that matter.When you look back at your young life how many big things do you actually hold true to your heart? There are big events I am sure but isn’t it very often a case of the small things in the middle of the big events that matter most? Or things just after the big events? By the way please stop being so hard on yourself. You are making a difference in so many lives and they are blessed to have you in thier lives.

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