Sharing the Savior’s Story
Years ago, one of the teachers in my parochial school told me about
one of her special students. I won't give you his name because I don't
know how to find him to ask his permission. So let's just call him Michael
and tell the story.
Michael's father, an irresponsible sort, had years before departed
for parts unknown. His mother had died of cancer. Whenever Michael talked
about her, he painted a picture of love, care, and Christian understanding.
Although technically not an orphan, he had been, most reluctantly, taken
in by his aunt and uncle. They didn't understand or especially like
children. It was almost with a sense of glee that they informed Michael,
at every available opportunity, that he would be homeless if it weren't
for their unparalleled generosity.
My teacher friend was amazed because, in spite of all Michael had gone
through, he had managed to remain a gentle and gracious child. Perhaps
in a desire to postpone his inevitable home-going, possibly because
he had a genuine desire to be needed, Michael often stayed after school.
In the classroom he busied himself cleaning erasers, picking up loose
papers, and doing a host of little favors for his teacher. She enjoyed
the visit; he loved the one-on-one attention.
Finally it was time for Christmas break. On the last day, shortly before
the bell rang, Michael sidled up to her desk. He had a crumpled bag
in his hand as he confessed, “I don't know how to wrap a Christmas
present, but I made something for you.” He gave her a box made
out of Popsicle sticks. The teacher did the appropriate “oohing” and “aahing” and
then she asked, “Michael, is there something inside the box?”
He admitted there was and then quickly added, “But you can't
see what's inside.”
“And why is that?” the teacher asked.
“Because it's invisible. You can't see it, or taste it, or touch
it, or smell it,” Michael said. “But it's in there.”
“What is it?”
“My mother said it was something that makes you unafraid when
you're scared and can make you feel safe when you're alone.”
“And what can do such wonderful things?” Michael whispered, “It’s
love.” And with that he quietly and quickly exited the room. As
for the Popsicle-stick box, which had love in it, the teacher keeps
it displayed with pride in a most prominent place.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour broadcast of: December 14, 2003