Sometimes I am astounded at my kids. This week has been… I struggle to find a sufficient adjective to describe the strange combination of blessings and struggles. One boy brought me a little charm of the American Flag. A girl brought me a necklace that she made herself out of little gold colored glass beads and plastic wire. We fought to get the tests finished so that we could turn them into the Ministry of Education with the correct formatting and correct number of copies.

But by far the funniest thing that happened was one of those things that I felt I should have noticed before. One boy brought me his math sheet. These come as part of a Christian curriculum so they have portions of Bible verses at the bottom that are trying very hard to connect themselves to math.

He showed me about one that was something like “He divides the waters…” (it was on division) and asked me who the “He” referred to. I was surprised; I didn’t think the kids ever paid attention to the verses on math sheets. But he did. I told him the “He” was talking about God. He sounded disappointed but tripped off back to his graffiti-ed desk. Then he started tearing into the tiny type at the bottom of two of his math sheets. He stood up and threw the sheets into the garbage and I gave him a strange look as he began to walk back to his seat. (Universal signal of curiosity and confusion.)

Holding out his hand, he showed me two tiny torn out words. One was the “He” and the other was the word “God”. Now I was more puzzled. The boy explained, “In Islam it is haram (blasphemous/sinning) to throw away the name of God.” I asked him what he would do with them. “I will put them in my pocket. I will lose them eventually, but that is okay. I just can’t throw them away on purpose.” Oh…

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