I came across this poster by Toby Mac the other day and couldn't help but find it incredibly fitting for my current thoughts.
For some students, the start of school is the most exciting time of the year. Not because they get new clothes, or new school supplies, or even a new teacher, but because they know there will be consistency five days a week. They are excited about hot meals for breakfast and lunch. They are eager to get their hands on a book and dive into an adventure or fairytale. They can't wait for PE and recess to hear the giggles of the other children. They are thrilled to be a kid and let the adults be the grownups. It is a safe place.
I was one of those.
Preparing for school to begin was something I found exciting. Beginning at about eight years old, I can remember sorting my old broken crayons and dividing them into two piles--one for me and one for my little sister. When I made certain we each had a variety of colors, I'd place them in a ziplock baggie and pack them in our used backpacks from the year before. Then, we would begin to find what we were going to wear on the first day of school--something with no stains was always desirable. Even though we didn't have "new" everything, this poster proved true; our broken crayons still created beautiful pictures.
Broken Crayons Have a Purpose
School was a place I desired to be. I didn't have very many friends but loved learning more than life itself. It was my ticket to a "better way," and I held onto that hope at a very early age. And just as I colored pretty pictures with my broken crayons as a child, I have learned that broken people are capable of creating a meaningful and fulfilling life. They can use that brokenness to show empathy and encourage others to overcome their circumstances. Being broken isn't all bad; in fact, it is a driving force for some students/people to strive for something greater. It pushes them to aim high and reach their dreams. It motivates them to pull themselves out of the "mulligrubs" when life hurts.
So, if some of your students or staff are broken crayons, challenge them to take that brokenness and color something astonishing. It IS possible!
Broken crayons have a purpose.
*In fact, I'm still coloring life with mine. Never give up.