Platform: I Found Holiness Where I Didn’t Expect It
By Kathy Nimmer
While mentoring the 70 new teachers in my public school district, I was blessed to help stabilize the school year for many beginning educators—but I did not expect any of this work to nurture my faith. That changed when I met a young fourth-grade teacher whose own faith transformed my mentorship.
Each visit with this teacher was meaningful. As I listened to her speak of hopes and fears concerning the upcoming birth of her son, I sensed the sanctity of believers walking with each other beside the still waters and the shadowed valleys alike. As I agonized with her over the trials of a student whose abilities, background, and anger management issues separated him from his peers, I reflected upon how Jesus would draw the outcasts to him, much as this young educator was doing with her student. And I, too, shared about the pressures of living up to a public image that often felt uncomfortably false. In response, she reminded me of the One who knows us and loves us exactly how we are. Our time together was one-on-one, heart-level, soul-joining communion.
Earlier this year, I read a book in which two characters who had been friends for decades had a special phrase they used each time they parted: “Save me a seat.” For them, this declared trust—whenever one arrived somewhere first, the other was important enough that the first would save a seat. That seat had a purpose. The one who would sit there was needed, wanted, and singly appointed to fulfill the role of being present for the other.
I believe that my seat in that fourth-grade public school classroom was sacred, as is every place where God has us be. We don’t need to wait until we are at church, in Christian schools, or on mission trips to believe that God’s presence is grand enough to change us. God saved me that seat across from this young teacher, and in a place where I didn’t expect holiness, I found it.
Look at the seats in your life, the places where God has you right now. They are not accidental, random, or apart. I challenge you to view those seats as opportunities to do something for God. Then, do that thing, right then, right there.
Kathy Nimmer is a teacher, writer, motivational speaker, and member of Heartland Community Church (RCA) in Lafayette, Indiana. In 2015, she was named the Indiana Teacher of the Year.