Universeel Kerstfeest

(1991)

De klas was gehuld in het warme licht van tientallen kaarsvlammetjes. Elke morgen in de kersttijd werd er een verhaal voorgelezen, afgewisseld met het zingen van kerstliedjes.

Ieder kind had zijn eigen kaarsje voor zich.

Doodstil en vol aandacht keken de grijze, blauwe, donkere en vele bruine ogen mij aan. Zestien nationaliteiten in één klas, met vele verschillende culturele achtergronden en religies. Hoe kon je als leerkracht en leerlingen elkaar in eenheid ontmoeten tijdens het Kerstfeest?

Het licht ging weer aan. Ieder kind kreeg een blad voor zich met daarop een cirkel. Voor hem stond een mandje met kleurpotloden.

Ik sprak met hen over vrede; dat wij bij de vrede in onszelf kunnen komen als we onze gedachten en gevoelens even proberen stil te leggen. Zo kun je contact krijgen met een diep gevoel van vrede in jezelf.

“Als je wilt, sluit je je ogen, zodat je niet afgeleid wordt en zal ik een muziekje aanzetten dat ook “Vrede” heet. Als je wilt, mag je in de cirkel gaan tekenen hoe jouw vrede er uitziet. Ik heb een potje met echte gouden verf en een penseel waarmee je het mooiste plekje in je tekening goud mag maken”, besloot ik.

Zonder enig commentaar sloot ieder zijn ogen. Er daalde een gezegende stilte in de klas. Ontroerd keek ik naar de verstilde gezichtjes, die vol overgave hun eigen innerlijk pad betraden.

Bij Lonneke stroomden spontaan de tranen over de wangen. Ik ging naast haar zitten en vroeg of alles goed ging.

“Ik voel zo veel verdriet, juf”, fluisterde zij. “Kijk er eens onder” sprak ik zacht terug. Even was het stil. “O juf, ik zie allemaal licht, goud..” en toen “ juf, ik zie twee handen. Ze willen mij helpen.” Door haar tranen heen, straalden haar ogen. “Als je wilt, mag je het tekenen”, zei ik. Zo ging ik naar ieder kind.

Ik zie alleen maar een grijze mist”, sprak een jongen, van wie ik wist dat hij heel veel verdriet in zich had. “Ga maar tekenen”, zei ik, en laat onder die mist de zon eens schijnen.” Blij verbaasd tekende hij vol overgave zijn eigen, voor hem nu zichtbaar geworden licht.

“Juf”, giechelde een klein ondeugend meisje, “Ik zie alleen maar sterretjes fonkelen.” Haar cirkel was vol getekend met allemaal prachtige, gouden sterretjes.

Louis zijn tekening was voor een groot gedeelte gevuld met zwart. Het centrum bestond uit een grote, gouden ster. Louis keek stil met een ernstig gezicht naar zijn tekening. Met betraande ogen keek hij mij aan. Het verdriet dat de scheiding van zijn ouders hem had aangedaan, lag nog vers op zijn gezicht. “Nu weet je Louis, dat als je verdriet hebt je vrede en rust kunt vinden bij die gouden ster van vrede in jezelf.” Hij knikte en gerustgesteld tekende hij weer verder.

Als laatste kwam ik bij Sandra. In haar cirkel straalde een prachtige gouden ster als een explosie van het mooiste gouden vuurwerk. Aan de randjes had zij rode hartjes getekend.
“En San, hoe ging ’t bij jou”, fluisterde ik zacht. Met een gelukkige glimlach keek zij mij aan en wat verbaasd zei ze zacht: “Juf, er is binnen in mij alleen maar liefde!”.
Ik knikte ontroerd.

Begrijpt U nu waarom ik zo lang schooljuffrouw bleef?

Vooral met Kerstmis?

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