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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Space (01/23/06)

TITLE: Gap Toothed Smile
By Debbie Sickler


Gap Toothed Smile

“Boys! Stop that right now. Joel, you get off of him.” Ms. Warkentin couldn’t believe that Joel was attacking sweet little Aaron; Joel was at least twice his size! She pulled the boys apart and sent Joel straight to Mr. Randal’s office.

“You ok?” Aaron nodded his head slightly, staring down at the dirt. “Come on, let’s get you cleaned up.” Ms. Warkentin wrapped her arm around his shoulders affectionately as they left the playground together.

Back in the classroom, she reached into her desk drawer for the first aide kit. “That’s not like you to be in a fight Aaron. What were you two boys fighting about?” She dabbed some ointment onto his scraped knees with a cotton ball and covered them with band aides. Aaron just sat still on the edge of her desk, his head hung down and tears trickling through the dust covering his cheeks.

“He, he was making fun of my teeth. He said I look like a Hill Billy. Ms. Warkentin, what’s a Hill Billy?” Aaron rubbed his eye with a grubby fist and looked up with a pitiful expression that melted Lori’s heart. The space between his front teeth was quite large, but that didn’t give Joel the right to mistreat him. Sometimes she didn’t know what to do about that boy. She grabbed a paper towel and walked to the sink.

“Sweetie, don’t you worry about that. You’re not a Hill Billy.” She walked back to the boy and began washing his face and picking grass out of his tousled hair. “You know, before I grew older and had to buy these fake teeth, I used to have a gap in my teeth too. Did you know that?”

“Really?” Aaron’s eyes brightened a little when he heard Ms. Warkentin’s secret.

“Yep. Kids used to tease me about it too. Sometimes I’d cry all the way home from school. That is, until I finally told my mother about it. You know what she said that changed everything?”

“What?” he sniffled, his curiosity mingled with faint hope.

“She told me that when you love Jesus very much, He lives in your heart. Sometimes when you’re a really special child to God, He puts a little space in your teeth.”

“Why would He do that?” Aaron’s hope turned to confusion. “Sounds like a kinda mean thing to do if ya love somebody.”

“Well, mother said that if you have a gap toothed grin it means that every time you smile, people can look right through that little space and see Jesus down in your heart. You love Jesus too, don’t you Aaron?”

“Oh yes! You know I do Ms. Warkentin!”

“Well that means you better show off that smile of yours and be proud of that gap. The more you smile at people, even people like Joel who are mean to you, the more they will get to see Jesus in you. Understand?”

“I think so.”

“Good! Now run on back outside and enjoy what’s left of your recess.”

“Thanks Ms. Warkentin. I’m gonna smile and show everybody Jesus.” Aaron hopped off her desk and ran out the door with a huge grin on his face.

That put a grin on Lori’s face too.

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This article has been read 997 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Rachel Rudd 01/31/06
Wonderful! What a sweet story! (The only thing I would suggest is to put Ms. Lori W. early on to clarify who Lori is...)
Shari Armstrong 02/02/06
It put a smile on my face, too. What a gentle lesson :)
Alexandra Wilkin02/02/06
This has a really light and natural pace, and the sceane is set very effectively. Poor little bloke! But a lovely way to put a smile on his face. God bless
Pat Guy 02/02/06
I loved what the gap meant! Beautiful and clever! I used to tell my daughter that the Rose Prince bent down and kissed her on the cheek one day as she was walking by.

My only suggestion would be in the second paragraph. To switch the two sentences after the teacher asked if Aaron was okay.

Lovely story!
Corinne Smelker 02/02/06
very cute and i can relate - before i had dental work i also had a gap between my front teeth and i hated it. perhaps if i had a teacher like that i would not have hated it so much!
Jan Ackerson 02/02/06
This is utterly charming!

A few minor edits: band aides should be bandaids, and Hill Billy should be hillbilly.

The reason behind the gap is just captivating. I loved this.
Lynda Lee Schab 02/02/06
Oh, what a heart-warmer! This one made me smile (and almost wish I had a gap between my teeth!) Well done!
Blessings, Lynda
Garnet Miller 02/02/06
This is another one I really liked. Very creative, Deb!!! I think that Hill Billy is one word, though (Hillbilly). I never had a gap between my teeth but I know how it hurts to be teased. Great characters.
Joe Moreland02/02/06
Great story and point. It is so true that we show Jesus the most when we give smiles to those who torment us. A very uplifting piece. I need to go and read more of your stuff.
Cheryl Harrison02/02/06
A beautiful story with a wonderful lesson...let people see Jesus in you. Thanks for writing this.
Maxx .02/03/06
Wow! This was cute! Great work! Keep it up!
terri tiffany02/05/06
Very cute story...pulled me back to when my child was young. The gap in the teeth was perfect!
Brandi Roberts02/12/06
Awwww, this was such a cute story! Well done, Debbie!
Amy Michelle Wiley 12/15/06
I don't think I've ever read this one. What a cute story!