A blog where women are inspired and encouraged to grow in their relationship with Christ.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

I Got Caught Cheating!

It was a dark day when Mrs. Esterline, my third grade teacher, caught me cheating on a math test.  She had created a six week ‘Indy 500’ math race where each week we would take a test, pass it to the person in front of us, and grade each others  paper.   Our race car moved ahead based on our score.

I Got Caught Cheating!Well, let’s just say that math was not my best subject. However, Kevin, the little boy who sat behind me, was nauseatingly good in math.  Week after week he raced ahead of the others, coming increasingly close to the finish line...while week after week it became painfully obvious that I was perilously close to taking the dreaded last place. I hated that race!

I God Caught Cheating!Sooo, one test day I decided to take matters into my own hands (literally).  With sweaty palms and a racing heart,  I very carefully and nervously took my #2 pencil in hand and changed his ‘fives’ and ‘sevens’ to ‘eights’. (Nothing obvious about that!)    

I Got Caught Cheating!For two long days I lived with almost unendurable guilt.  My tummy hurt and I 
couldn’t sleep.  By my third ‘life of crime’ day, I was preparing to walk up to Mrs. Esterline’s huge desk and confess my deep, dark, ugly secret, when the door opened and our very old, very tall,  very scary principal entered the room!    He looked right at me, and said, “Mary, Mrs. Esterline would like to talk with you out in the hall.” 

And so, with head down, I made the long journey past the curious stares, to the hallway with a quivering heart and shaking legs.  The first thing I noticed was that Mrs. Esterline wasn’t her usual towering self; she was sitting on the floor.  She motioned for me to sit down beside her, and then she gently, lovingly placed her arm around me and drew me close. 

I God Caught Cheating!I remember soaking her blouse with tears.  I remember hiccupping a heart-felt confession of my terrible crime.  I remember telling her how sorry I was and how much I hated myself for what I had done.  I remember her soft words of forgiveness. Yes, she actually said “I forgive you”... never before heard words.  I remember her saying that I’d have to apologize and ask Kevin for his forgiveness.  She then lovingly told me of the consequences, and I remember feeling relieved that I would have to stay in from recess for an entire week...  it didn’t seem punishment enough.

Mrs. Esterline recognized that I had a tender heart.  She recognized that I was sincerely sorry.  She forgave me...  And then she treated me as though she forgave me!  That day Mrs. Esterline became my hero. 

I God Caught CheatingLooking back, I can see that Christ used a third grade teacher to present Himself to me.  How extraordinarily loving He was to see a pudgy  little girl who needed to experience forgiveness...really experience forgiveness and lavish His grace upon her.  Isn't that just like Him?!

Who has God used to influence and touch your life?  We each have a sphere of influence.   Whose life are you influencing and touching?  Let's be intentional about our influence and allow Jesus to pour out His grace to others...through us!
So thankful, 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Mary! I'm a teacher and I needed that reminder of how much influence we each have. God bless, Sarah M.


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