…Yesterday’s local paper… schools making impressive claims. For example:
‘A school where everyone strives for excellence every day… A vibrant and happy place with a fantastic group of young people and a wonderful team of staff who are committed to ensuring continuous improvement in a positive ‘can do’ culture, so that students have every opportunity to reach their full potential.’
Jargon, platitudes and clichés… I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or throw up. As one good friend would say: ‘Fine words and bullsh*t’. Words aren’t enough to describe what a school’s really like!
…Jamie’s 11 and has just started secondary school. His best friend, Mo, was coming for a sleepover.
Mo was anxious. He’d not been away from home before, he’s a Muslim… Jamie wanted to help Mo relax and feel welcome… He arranged a space in his bedroom where Mo could put his prayer mat, googled which direction was Mecca, asked his younger sister Ellen and her sleepover-friend to be quiet at the appropriate time…
All went well. The sleepover was a success. Jacob showed his friendship to Mo in both words and actions…
Lyndall Bywater’s ‘Prayer in the Making’ tells of Francis of Assisi. Born to a wealthy cloth merchant family he’d often give money or clothes to the homeless and poor.
He sold some expensive cloth, intending to give the money away. Pietro, Francis’ father, ‘…pursued his son to the town centre and confronted him publicly, demanding that he should repay all the money had made on the sale…’
Francis response: ‘…he stripped off all his expensive clothing, gave it back to his father, along with the money, and stood there in the street, stark naked.’
Actions speak louder than words.
Musing… reading this morning: ‘What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’ (Micah 6:8)
Words aren’t enough. It’s more than fine words and bullsh*t. It’s about character and actions, consistency and integrity.