The Butterfly and the Cross
by Richard McCaw
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Debbie Lyons shot a quick glance over the screen report. Barely passed! But thank God, she had tried her best. She remembered...
She remembered the ordeal of the Biology test - that morning…
It began with...just part of a hand sliding a thin slip of paper over the desk’s edge. She gave a start!
When she looked, Bobby Hart, who sat next to her right, was finishing an act. “You look stumped,” the paper read. Now she understood. Bobby was just settling back in his seat. She saw the smile in the corner of his mouth, as he pretended to be buried once more in the exam paper. Thirty two other twelfth graders were indeed wrapped up in the paper.
Debbie couldn’t afford losing a good mark just for one question. It seemed hard. The butterfly question was a problem. It licked her. Bobby had been playing his darts for her the last two weeks. But this was a classic move.
“Want some help?” the rest of the paper read. “R.S.V.P.” at the bottom.
“’Course she did! She bit her pencil hard. Her hands sweated over it. Would she take it? She reread the question frantically. There were only fifteen minutes left for that final question on the Bio. paper.
Bobby was not a Christian. But wasn’t this a Christian thing he was doing?
He was helping someone in desperate need. If she failed the Bio. paper, it might mean another year at school. She hadn’t done too well, she felt, at the other papers. In fact, she felt dismal about the rest. But this - this was her subject. And just for one measly question?
Bobby was good looking. Maybe, she could like him after all. Dad would raise the high heavens if she had to stay down another year. He just couldn’t afford it! Perhaps, she’d be a drop-out. The shame would be a hard blow.
She made up her mind. A hurried note on half an exercise leaf...crumpled...she flicked it deftly to her right…and it fell at his left ankle as she scanned question 10 once more as if unaware of the whole affair.
The Mistress was busily marking tenth graders’ exam papers. She trusted the twelfths too much, thought Debbie. But this once was a gift.
Bobby smiled quietly and began scribbling rapidly on yet another sheet...some details and a diagram of...the butterfly. It was soon over at her desk, of course, in crumpled form.
Debbie clutched it nervously. She had it! The ANSWER...THANK GOD! But as she said that inwardly, something froze within and she remembered...her eye caught the black leather of her testament peeping out from under the desk. Her other hand reached for it.
Yes, God be thanked! She opened the fly leaf...the crumpled paper fell from the same hand and she saw the words she had written two years ago, when she had given herself afresh to the Lord: “I am thine, O Lord, I have heard thy voice!”
No! She couldn’t do it! There was a difference between them. She belonged to Christ. Bobby didn’t. She remembered her baptism. She was buried with Christ. She was raised to walk in NEWNESS of life. Moreover, when she saw the tiny etching she had made of the cross…the cross of Jesus Christ...HER LORD…over the verse, she broke within. He had done too much for her to let Him down just then. She gave herself to him yet once more in the prayer: “I have heard thy voice...I AM THINE, O LORD!” And she bowed over the paper on the desk.
When she lifted her head, Debbie scribbled a note: “Sorry, Bobby…can’t!”
With new purpose she tackled the question before her. Now, it didn’t seem as hard as before...after the victory. And Christ was on her side!
Now that she looked back, Christ had been on her side, and she had come through the RIGHT WAY! She bowed her head.
“Lord, You are GREAT!”
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