I had little to no chance of developing poor grammar habits as the daughter and granddaughter of English teachers. Interestingly, as Nan’s memory rapidly fades, the ingrained-Educator in her is enhanced amongst a new set of pupils… her nurses. During medication distribution, assistance with dressing, or mealtime, she will correct the slightest slip of a prepositional ending or incorrect subject and verb agreement. I smile as the young nurses anxiously approach her, sweating a schooling.
For most of my life, I was a passive student of grammar just catching onto the continuous correction. I learned the gritty grammar facts from my grandmother. For instance, the verb “to be” is the most irregular verb in the English language. Meaning, it does not follow the typical rules of conjugation among the forms of infinitive, present tense, past tense, past participle, or present participle. Are you now starting to get anxious recalling your ninth-grade grammar teacher? I know the feeling! Mine was epically demanding (and educationally edifying)… Eastern Kentucky children shiver under shelves of American Lit with thoughts of “Killer Cline.”
I’d be hard pressed to finish a multiplication chart to the 12’s, and I think (hope?) it’s because my heart is and always was in the arts… primarily the written sort. I want to breathe in beautifully crafted sentences; I absolutely will always adore alliteration (see what I did there?), and timeless metaphors are my love language. Despite all of my enthusiasm (i.e. geekiness) for the skillfully written word, there is one grammatical error that I will forever embrace. I practically happy-dance when I hear folks say they “bees” doing something. Such as: I bees shuckin’ corn; We bees sayin’ Grace; They bees makin’ coffee.
My love for this incorrect conjugate goes against my natural tendencies to prefer smooth lines, straight edges, and spell checks. I don’t really even know why…. Maybe it’s my small streak of rebellion (surely inherited from those aforementioned women)…. Perhaps it’s the whole beekeeper bit… Or just because the error draws fond reminders of all things good and Southern.
For the love of Harper Lee, let’s not over-correct “bees” into extinction.
Unfortunately, the hallways of high schools aren’t as happy as they once were. The anxiety of tests has been overshadowed by the grave realities that face youth today.
They bees anxious.
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. (Dictionary.com). Did you catch that? Anxiety is worry about something in the future. When we are anxious, we aren’t living in the present. When the feelings of anxiety creep in and cloud the moment, remember that in that same moment we are living, breathing, and strengthened by the Almighty God.
We need bees worried no more.
When Moses, a man “slow of tongue” (Exodus 4:10), asked God Almighty what His name was, “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” (Exodus 3:14).
So, “I am” is the name that God gives us for Himself. He declares His nature as necessary, constant, certain, and eternal. Generations later, Jesus says to the Pharisees, “Very truly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58). It’s further explanation that Abraham, like all of us, had to come into existence…. God had to create him. 30+ years ago, I—Neena Gaynor—had never been born and therefore had never been. There was never a time when the Son of God was not. Let’s switch gears slightly to throw in a little Greek: God says “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the One who is, who was, and who is coming, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8). He’s the beginning and the end!
What a comfort! I need not be consumed by anger or depression about something that occurred in my past. We know we should not worry or be anxious about something that may never come to fruition in the future. We should be diligent, working with the knowledge that we are fully equipped by our good Father.
“I am” is present—in any form or tense. HE is present… Here…. With us! What a comfort that our God is above all rules of man and even the laws of time.
We live in uncertain times and send our children to schools where the students and teachers alike are shaken. Let’s send them all with the knowledge that our God is present. May we have the courage to let Him in…. into our schools, into our homes, and into our hearts.
We are able… with Jesus.
God bless you,
Photo by Nicola Tolin on Unsplash