Jeffrey froze at the sound of the recess bell. As all the other children scrambled out the door, he slowly put down his pencil and held his breath. Stealthily, he grabbed his book from his desk, opened it to a random page, and pretended to read.
“Jeffrey, didn’t you hear the recess bell ring?” asked Miss Dickson.
“Yes, Miss Dickson.” Jeffrey moaned.
“Don't you want to go play, it’s a beautiful day?”
“Well, why not? You could learn more about nature by going out and experiencing it then by reading about it in that book of yours!”
There was a long pause as he tried to think of an excuse that he could tell her. “Well…” Demanded Miss Dickson.
“I just don’t like recess.” Jeffrey grumbled.
“Why Jeffrey Stevens, I don’t believe I have ever heard of such a thing before in all the years I have been teaching. Now you go outside and enjoy yourself!” Miss Dickson scolded.
“Yes Miss Dickson” Jeffrey whined as he stood up from his chair. With hesitancy he made tiny steps out the door. He wandered around the playground, watching the activities going on.
There were girls playing jump rope and tetherball. There were second graders crossing the monkey bars and a bunch of fifth graders playing foursquare. He decided he would go to his favorite spot out in the field. He liked to stand in the corner and stair at the middle school through the fence. Someday, he’ll be a big kid and he will go to the big kid school, where they don’t have recess.
“Jeffrey is a nerd boy! Jeffrey is a nerd boy!” Several kids began the nagging chant from a distance. Jeffrey let out a sigh. “Don’t give them any satisfaction.” He told himself. That’s what his mom told him to do. Her voice played over in his head as he remembered what she told him; “just ignore them and they will go away”. So Jeffrey kept looking through the fence, his hands clenching the diamond shaped wire.
“Jeffrey is a nerd boy! Nerd Boy!” The voices drew nearer. He hoped they’d go away soon. “Nerd Boy!” He became filled with emotions. Why are they so mean to me? He wondered to himself. Jeffrey closed his eyes and tried to fight back the tears. He prayed to himself. “Dear God, please don’t make me a nerd anymore. Please give me a friend.”
The humiliating tune abruptly stopped at the sound of a blowing whistle. Jeffrey turned to see the recess teacher, Mr. Wyze. All the children scattered at his disapproving glare. They went back to playing, forgetting little Jeffrey alone in the corner of the field.
“Now Jeffrey, come here I need to tell you something very important.” Mr. Wyze summoned.
“Yes Sir.” Jeffrey came over to the tall man, wiping away his tears. Mr. Wyze kneeled down so that he could meet the boy eye to eye.
“You know, Jeffrey, those kids are wrong.” Mr. Wyze said in a matter of fact tone of voice.
“Yes! You are a very special boy. God made you so special that even your third grade peers can see it.”
“Why do they call me a nerd then?” Jeffrey retorted disbelievingly.
“They don’t understand why you’re different then them and that makes them uncomfortable. They just tease you to make themselves feel better.”
“But, they make me feel like a loser.”
“Well Jeffrey, God, the creator of the universe, doesn’t make losers. God created you before the beginning of the world. In all of time; the past and the future, there will never be another Jeffrey. You are some kid!”
Jeffrey’s tears were gone. His eyes filled with excitement as he began to understand how special he was. The numbness he felt began to fade and turned into joy.
The recess bell rang. Without delay, Jeffrey turned and ran back to his class shouting, “Thanks Mr. Wyze!”
As Jeffrey arrived at the door to his classroom, he nearly collided with Danny Myer, the king of all bullies. “Out of my way, nerd boy!” Danny roared.
Jeffrey laughed and said fearlessly, “I’m not a nerd boy! I know someone much bigger than you who says I’m special!”
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14