Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Teacher (10/26/06)
- TITLE: The Power Of His Smile
By Dolores Stohler
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I could hardly contain the excitement that bubbled within me and threatened to break into dancing. It was my very first day in school, but it wasn’t the public school in my neighborhood. No! Although I was five years old, my mother had been too late in trying to enroll me in Kindergarten that year. The class was full and I’d have to wait until I was six.
That was my first real disappointment in life for I was fully ready for school. Mother had taught me to read at the age of four when I had pointed to words and demanded to know what they said.
Now I was finally going to be in a real classroom. I held tight to my mother’s hand as we entered the room and shyly looked about the room with its tiny chairs and bright pictures on the wall.
The class was large and the teacher young and enthusiastic. She passed through the room handing each of us a Sunday school paper with a picture of Jesus on the cover - that famous picture of the Lord seated with small children gathered about Him. You guessed it! It was Easter Sunday and I had a new coat with a daisy pin and shiny black Mary Jane shoes. But the excitement of new clothes and going to school began to pall when teacher read us the Easter story. For the picture on the page came alive before my eyes.
After all these years - 68, I believe - when I close my eyes I can still see Him as He appeared before me that day. He wore a white robe. His arms were outstretched as though He wanted to hug me and He was looking straight at me and smiling. It was more beautiful than my mother’s smile, or my teacher’s smile and it was mine alone. Exclusively, absolutely and positively, it was mine!
I became a Christian on Easter Sunday, 1938, and my faith has never wavered - all because of His beautiful smile.
What is the real goal of mankind in our journey towards eternity? Isn’t it knowing and seeing God? Aren’t we all like Moses when he said to God, “Please show me your glory.” We want a vision of what we believe, or a spiritual experience that we can cling to throughout the years of testing and learning.
But Jesus said that only the pure in heart will see God. At five I was probably pure enough, as was Mary when as a young teen-ager she accepted a miracle into her life without questioning it as Zacharias did. I‘m remembering the words of King David, “And I - in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.” (Psalm 17:15 NIV)
Now many years, and many sins later, should I strive to recapture that innocence I claimed when I first saw the Lord? I fear that is impossible. What a relief to know that my sins are covered by His sacrificial death upon the cross. So when I see Him again, in spirit and in truth, it will be with clean hands and a pure heart. For I have laid my burden at the foot of the cross and will not pick it up again.
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