Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Outgoing (05/05/11)
TITLE: The Journal of Margaret McDonald
By Caitlin Dea
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The yearbook I chose was the from my first year of teaching. I quickly turned to the page entitled “Miss Andersen's 5th Grade Class.” One face in particular stood out from the rest. It was the face of a girl by the name of Margaret McDonald. Yes, that little girl may have been the gem of my whole career. In fact, let me take you back to that very moment which seemed to make all my teaching worth while...
40 years ago...
There I am sitting at the same desk you just saw me cleaning off. As you can see, I was a lot younger and had a lot more energy. It was about 12:20 PM and the children were out at recess with another teacher, and I had the room all to myself. I was intently grading a report when little Margaret McDonald came bustling in.
“Miss Andersen, can we have a talk?” said the little red-head.
Her cheeks were all flushed and she had a hint of tears in her voice.
“Of course, we can, Margaret. What do you have on your mind?”
“Well, my parents are going through a divorce and I feel just awful about it all. I tried to tell to my parents about how I feel, but they just keep blaming each other.”
She reminded me of a puppy dog with a thorn in his paw just wailing for someone to pull it out.
“Margaret, I am so flattered that you would come to me seeking advice, but really whatever I have to say is no good. I want you to understand that...”
Immediately I was cut off by the little red head.
“What do you mean what you have to say is 'no good?' You're the teacher!”
“Actually, Margaret, what I meant to say was that I don't have all the answers, but God does. He is the Person you have to share your heart with. The Bible has the answers if you will only look for them.”
I began shuffling through my desk and found an unused composition notebook and a Bible. Handing them to Margaret I began, “Margaret, I want you to keep a journal in which you explain your doubts, fears, dreams. Once you have written, I want you to search the Bible to find the answers to your questions.”
Margaret took the Bible and notebook and said, “So my thoughts will go all the way out to God and He will hear me?”
“They sure will,” I said with an encouraging smile.
Now that you have seen that moment, I can tell you the rest of the story. Margaret began to write in her journal and read the Bible every day. One day, her parents came across that journal and realized how their actions had affected their poor daughter. After beginning to read the Bible together, whole family eventually came to the knowledge of the Lord, and the couple called off the divorce.
Well, that was forty years ago. Back to cleaning off my desk and officially retiring from teaching. I had just put on my coat when I heard a gentle knock at my door.
“Miss Andersen, are you still here?” asked a fellow teacher in her early fifties.
“Oh hello, Margaret. Come in, I was just thinking about you” I said endearingly.
“Miss Andersen, I just wanted to say how much of a difference you have made in my life. You pointed me to the Lord and set a great example of a teacher and a friend. I hope that I can be even half the teacher that you were.”
“Thank you, Margaret,” I said, “ You're doing fine. Just remember the Lord.”
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