The Authentic Life
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
Special guest: Vicki Harris
(J) God is able, and does send in those to love. It reminds me that, ah, that woman that you said, you believed that God had sent you, into your life to, to really, ah, kind of mentor you, and she refused. And ah, with mentoring would come, would come love, would come vulnerability, would become a lot of things. You just don’t disciple somebody like a teacher, you have to get involved; you have to get your heart in there. You have to love. And so she said no. And then basically…
(M) She wasn’t even, even in a place of a place to say no. She wasn’t developed enough to even recognize that she had a place of responsibility before God. So the refusal was far deeper of Him, and any responsibility, and truth be known it’s the same woman.
(J) Are you kidding me? Oh my-gosh.
(M) She would’ve never, never given herself to anyone else to that degree. That has to be that there was somewhere in her life, God’s purpose and God’s love, and that maybe she shut herself off from it. That’s saying a lot, but everything points to that.
(Vicki) She was afraid of being uncovered or exposed.
(M) I’m sure, I’m sure, yeah, very afraid. And she was after a period of time and the passage of time, she was known. I said that you know, maybe not in the one you heard, but maybe the next one, but yeah in time we are known eventually. May as well be you because we’ll be known. So it’s very tragic.
(Vicki) Even that is God’s love; that He would send someone to free us from our own trappings, of what our own choices have made of our life. He is so loving to do that.
(M) One of the things I told in the conference was about Jennifer, that her breakthrough was God’s wrath, and His confrontation of her. She thought she was hiding pretty well, but when God came after her, He told her who she was, and He knew everything of the woman at the well was so relieved. I believe that’s proof of what you said, the woman at the well was so relieved, He told me everything I ever did. And didn’t hate you or abandon me. And she said I’ve been so afraid of being known, and once I knew I was, I knew it was love.
(M) And it was a relief.
(Vicki) What we don’t understand either is that the thing we are the most afraid of in being exposed is actually the door to the, to the freedom of His love, to be able to be free to love someone else. And it’s all Him; it is all, His coming after us in love.
(M) And I don’t believe that He leaves anybody without a plan. I think it’s we who fail on our end of the job. Because I just, nobody can cry out to Him that He doesn’t hear. That’s poorly said, but. It’s like Jesus said, “Do you want to be healed?” And the man said I’ve been here 38 years, of course. But, and for so many the issue is do we want to come out? Do you really want an authentic life? And if you don’t, He will let you have that choice. But if you do, God will move heaven and earth to help you and meet you. Wow, that’s like we uncovered a treasure in this vale didn’t we?
(Vicki) Maslow’s hierarchy of need, oh my-gosh, that just changes so much of my own understanding of encounter’s with children twenty years ago. You know when…. Wow. But you told us, you told us at the conference that the culmination is love, our, the expectation of our life, the summation of that is love. How did we love? And did we love?
(M) And did we let ourselves need His love. I came to His love through need, desperate need. I don’t know that there’s any other way we can receive His love on any other ground than that.
(Vicki) I think all the lies help show us what isn’t love. Because I think we do have to come in just absolute desperation for the reality of what love is. Because we have in our persona and in our life of lies and stealing what looks like the great life in someone else we find another lie, and then we just trump that with another lie from someone else. So until we are so desperate for reality and need of His love, we can’t, we’re not ready I guess.
(M) I got something. The reason for the lie is desperation for love, we want to be what can be loved.
(M) And if we have to create it, we will create it. Oh, oh, that’s it, that’s why we build a persona. If you’re loved you have no need for a persona, you really don’t care, cuz you are loved. Wow, that’s, that’s amazing; that’s huge; it explains it. I wish I had been 70 when I met this woman; (Martha chuckles) I didn’t know any of this back then, I just knew I had to get away. Vicki, you talk about working with at-risk children, and you told us a delightful story earlier about a little boy that you had to keep right beside you. And tell where… Tell about your work with at-risk children, cuz I have no such exposure.
(Vicki) Uhmm. Before going over seas, ah, actually I taught a few other things before I went overseas too, but for some years I really feel like I had the privilege to work in an at-risk program that was developed by the school district that I was in. And the idea was to take student who were two or more years behind in grade level, uhm, but they did not fall into the categories of, you know, they had a learning disability or they had something else. These were just supposedly students of normal IQ who were behind for some reason. And many of the students that I had, had a parole officer; they had already had run-ins with the law many times by the time I taught… I taught students who were, uhmm, well I taught seventh and eighth grade mathematics, but these students were like fifteen, sixteen, that kind of thing. And I mean every year I taught eighth grade a young woman got pregnant. I had a student, a young woman who was pregnant. Which was, you know, just so sad. And, and uhm… But they… You would see patterns of mistrust and being tested by them over and over for are you really going to be who you say you are to me? You know when you say if I do this certain work that I will pass, or I will do something. Many of the people that they lived with were their grandparents, and I had uhmm, often had a grandmother who would tell me, ask me why I was picking on their child because I would make them stay after school to finish their homework or something. And there was just such a difference in our understandings. One of the things that we did that was shocking for me personally because my Mother is an educator, and so we grew up with books around us all the time and someone reading. We did a little survey for our students as they came into this program and one of the questions we asked is, uhmm, if anyone read to you growing up, who was it? And it was like a, a) you mother, b) your father, C) a sibling. In the seven years of that program not one student had been read to by a parent. If they had been read to it was by a sibling. So it was quite an eye-opener for me. Often we would be concerned about what food is the nutrition. We were concerned about the young ladies and what was being perpetrated upon them at home. We do know of one situation that absolutely was and had to get authorities involved. And so it was quite a ah, new experience, even though I’d had a lot of different educational experiences and so I was very thankful for the help and understanding how the brain worked with regards to that. Because you could be so frustrated with, you know, how can I demand where the heck is your math homework, when the child, you know, maybe no parent was home last night and they haven’t eaten since yesterday morning when they came to school. You know it sort of fades pre-algebra way to the background when you find out things like that. And you begin to understand why things are not being successful that we think in education should be. I was so thankful for the help of the kind of training we were getting as these, the, ah, specialists with regard to the brain and how it worked or whatever. But we did receive a great deal of, uhmm, education, and how to deal with, with certain kinds of things and uhmm… But sometimes the trauma I guess was so great, and we unfortunately didn’t see a whole lot of continued success. We did have some success stories and they would come back and see us and, you know, went on to have really, uhm, jobs and raise families and so forth. But it was quite difficult because I think, you know just like we could sit here having the upbringing that we had, and relatively normal I guess, and the ah, benefits of food, clothing, shelter, that we’d not have to worry about those kinds of things; and we can sit here and say, gee, why, you know, why did they waste this chance, and why did they not go on and get educated, and you know… And I asked myself that question even sometimes I would think, I’m busting my tail spending more hours with you everyday than I spend with my own children, and I really want to see you succeed, and I believe you believe I want to see you succeed, so why is this not working? And then to turn around and come to realize they really physically cannot get past not having the stability of where I will be tonight. Where will I be fed tonight? Am I safe in my home? You know, what is normal? And so both of us were at, looking like in some distorted, through some distorted window at each other or something and not being able to understand. But it was, you know, it’s, but God, you know, but God. And I do believe that, that His presence was there and that He, He made a difference somehow in those students. Because most of the teachers that really worked with these kids were Believer’s and were willing, you know, to put in the enormous amounts of energy and patience that it took, and, and I have to believe that that was, if people would say, you know I said that that was my mission field. They’d said hey, you know, when you went on the mission field, did you have any training? I said well I taught in public school, does that count? You know, and so, uhmm, but ah… I do believe that. I did believe that when I was there, that that was His call for me to be there. And so, uhm, it makes a difference to have that to lean on because, ah, it was difficult, you know, so… But it was a blessing at the same time.
(J) It reminds me of that movie “Precious”. I mean it was such a rough, rough, rough movie, but to see a totally different perspective of life that this girl had ah. And you know it’s not, she wasn’t stupid, she wasn’t literate, she wasn’t slow, she was, she was capable of doing, but she was incapable of, of doing what she wanted to do or needed to do or could do, because of her situation. He situation was her handicap. And that to me is amazing, that literally these basic needs can handicap us from being, from developing into who we are.
(Vicki) One thing, it had to be the Lord because this was just an innate absolute I would not give on in my classroom, and that was I was determined to make a place where it was safe for a student to answer me and be wrong. And I feel like that is so important in education, in anything, whether it’s your children at home or whatever, they have to feel safe to be wrong. And if I didn’t do anything else in those years, I’m hoping that that would be the one thing that, uhm, I know it had to be the Lord; I wasn’t that savvy to catch that then, I just somehow innately knew they have to not be afraid to answer me. Somehow we have to work and be together, I have to let them test me whatever this is, so that they know they can be wrong and you know, they won’t get hit or shunned or you know or removed or whatever the case may be.