By a fortunate happenstance, I got on the daily mailing list of a really wonderful woman in town. She sends out prayers or meditations every morning. Today’s was particularly nice, “An Angel in the Rock,” written by Elizabeth O’Connor.
Somewhere I heard a story about Michelangelo’s pushing a huge piece of rock down a street. A curious neighbor sitting lazily on the porch of his house called to him and inquired why he labored so over an old piece of stone. Michelangelo is reported to have answered, “Because there is an angel in that rock that wants to come out.” Every person has the task of releasing angels by shaping and transfiguring the raw materials that lie about [us]…. How we do this…is determined by the discovery and the use of our gifts.
Source: Eighth Day of Creation
I sent it to my son’s teacher because I think that’s essentially her job description. She’s a modern-day Michelangelo. She finds angels, scientists, poets, musicians and the next generation of teachers in the huge pieces of rock and clay we send to her. Well, she starts the process. It takes a long time to find those things in raw material. But she begins to work it and see what develops.
Work like that is extremely tiring. It takes drive and dedication, and sometimes it’s hard to get motivated to do it. So there’s also this really fabulous pep talk that’s gone viral to get us all moving today. You see, it’s not just Kindergarten teachers who have to find beauty in rock. We all do. Even when sometimes that rock is ourselves.
You’ve just been pep-talked.