Integrating Faith and Work
I [Grace Hosier] often moan that my job makes me too busy. I am not around much during the week to meet up with people and encourage them and that’s what an Elder’s wife is supposed to do – right? Then I remember my life is full of people and people really matter to Jesus. Perhaps my perspective is wrong and I am exactly where I need to be for now.
For 7 years I have worked as a teacher at a local boys’ school. There are around 1,000 pupils at the school and I see 360 of them every week. That’s a lot of boys (and reports)! I have had many opportunities to talk about my faith and I have taken some of them! In the past year I have discussed with my classes: the medical ethics of stem cell research and abortion; the seven deadly sins; Shakespeare’s ideas about love and God; why we owe William Tyndale our gratitude for translating the Bible into English at the cost of his life.
Outside of the classroom is where I have had the most unexpected conversations with students and staff. I still have a letter from a student that says, “I honestly don’t know where I’d be now without…the time you gave up to help me out.” What did I do? I noticed him in the corridor, a year after I’d been teaching him, and felt prompted to ask how he was. He was depressed and questioning whether he wanted to live. As a result of that conversation the pastoral team secured the professional help he needed. I was also able to remind him that life is bigger than the trouble of the present moment and that I’d pray for him to know this.
On another occasion a member of staff told me, “You believe in God, you need to pray for X as she is very ill.” X was a member of staff who had cancer and was off school for the foreseeable future. I prayed that God would spare her life. She came to find me to give me the biggest hug when she returned to school. We don’t see each other much at school these days, but two weeks ago she showed up at our local parkrun. She was feeling unwell so I hugged her and prayed for her right there in the park. We ran together the following week and talked about how, in the current climate at school of rising mental health issues, we all need to remember that life is about more than exams – knowing you are loved is about the most important thing. I have given her a book to read about how much Jesus loves her and I will continue to pray for my friend.
Yes, Jesus wants me right where I am for now.