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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hope (05/04/06)

TITLE: Nobody Else
By Janelle Bailey


I wrenched open the door of my car. "Another wasted morning in the public school system," I thought to myself. "Why do I even bother." For the past year I had worked voluntarily as a teacher of Religious Education. It was a small weekly commitment, yet it had rapidly become the overpowering burden of my existence. "Youíve got to face facts, Lois, youíre the wrong woman for the job. Give it over to someone else before more damage is done."
Sighing, I eased myself into the front seat, noticing as I did so an envelope peeping from the inside cover of my Bible. Curious, I opened it up, instantly surprised by itís contents.

Dear Mrs Cummings, I read,

We are the children of your RE class. If we were old enough to write and mature enough to understand, this is what we would say.

Mrs Cummings, we would say please donít give up. Even though not all of us come every week. Even though no one says thank you, please donít stop coming.

Mrs Cummings, please be patient. Tim didnít mean to tip all of the paint on the floor. And he certainly didnít mean to colour Sallyís hair with it afterwards. He just does that stuff because before now, nobody has taught him otherwise.

Mrs Cummings, please stop being anxious. We know you are worried about Lachlan because he doesnít say anything, and that you think itís your fault heís not interested. But Lachlan is interested. Very. He just hasnít learnt yet that God is interested in him.

Donít stop praying with us, Mrs Cummings. Nobody else helps us talk to God. Donít stop singing either Mrs Cummings. We are going to remember those songs for the rest of our lives. When we are grown up and needing God, those songs will help us to remember that He loves us.

Donít feel discouraged Mrs Cummings because Kara was only in our class for one lesson. In that lesson you told her everything she has ever heard about God.

Donít feel like youíre failing us, Mrs Cummings, when we canít remember the story. Donít feel upset when we think God promised Abraham snow and that Jesus had the power to heal Ďcause he was good. Please donít stop teaching us, Mrs Cummings. We might not always understand the lesson, but we know love when we see it.

Keep hoping and believing, Mrs Cummings. One day we will remember the songs and the stories and the prayers. One day we will understand the love of God that sent you to us. We need you Mrs Cummings; there is nobody else.

From your RE Class

I finished reading the letter with streams of tears flowing down my face. I couldnít say by what means the letter had come to me, but I did know one thing. I was right where God needed me after all.

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This article has been read 515 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Steve Uppendahl05/11/06
Wow. As a teacher I would give a kidney for that kind of letter, or simply for those thoughts.

Very nicely done, and a great lesson for those who feel overwhelmed. Thanks.

Lynda Schultz 05/11/06
Beautiful. It warmed my heart. Good job.
Valora Otis05/14/06
You article is for anyone who has ever worked with children. I loved the spirit of hope portrayed in the message. You have lifted my heart this day. Bless You!
Helen Paynter05/14/06
Oh, fantastic! I've added it to my list of favourites (and I don'tdo tht very often). I hope this places.