Chocolate Donuts and Lessons Learned

I am blessed to have a few friends that just see Jesus everywhere! There's nothing religious about their walk with the Lord. No, they're eager for God to meddle with, make-over, and mold their lives.

Pam is one of those dear friends. Whether she's mothering her boys, witnessing at work, or running a marathon… She just sees Jesus. She encourages and challenges me! She shared this story with me a few days ago and I knew it was something I needed to share with you. May you be blessed by this dear sister and may you see Jesus, too.

What I learned from 2nd grade…

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This past week, I attended a second grade assembly at the Christian school that my sons attend.  My boys are no longer in second grade, although 2nd grade has been the highlight of my younger son’s academic career thus far.

The reason for both of the above statements is the same, a teacher, and not just any teacher; a teacher who is highly gifted, and uses that gift daily in honor of the Gift-giver. 

This teacher, whom I had never met when my son was assigned to her class, has become a very dear friend. As is the custom at this school, each month a different class is assigned the task of conducting the assembly for the others at the same grade level.  This month the responsibility of overseeing the program had fallen to my friend and her second graders.  She had shared with me many weeks before that she had an idea for the assembly.  Her class had read a book with an important message regarding the sin of greed and self importance and how they are diametrically opposed to the “fruits of the Spirit” we read about in the fifth chapter of Galatians.  She was in prayer about how she and the class might present the book in a God-honoring way.

Now in the last few weeks, I have been consumed by my responsibilities at work, and I could not figure out how I could get away to go to this assembly, but felt that I needed to be there to show my love and support.  So I blocked my calendar and trusted that anything that needed my attention could wait. 

The minute I arrived, I knew God was there and He had wanted me there too.

As the production began, the first narrators explained that the class would quote the book verbatim; explaining that verbatim means “word for word” in Latin.  And they did!   They were adorable and amazing in their preparation and understanding of the material. 

One of the first things I noticed was that the child who was reading the part of the fisherman in the story, did not have the clearest of speech, his diction was not as accurate as some of the others in the class.  I wondered why he had been cast in that part, rather than one of the others.  But as the performance went on, and he became more and more animated, and endearing, it was clear to me what this teacher had seen, what I at first hearing, had not.  Suffice it to say that he WAS the fisherman, there could have been no other.  He reminded me of how quick I am to judge, and how patient God is with us.  When at first it seems that we cannot handle the assignment, and how He waits patiently for us to grow into our part and make it ours.  This child in this part, reminded me of why I had fallen in love with this teacher in the first place, that she could see in children things others could not, myself included. 

The message of this book and the loving way it was presented so touched my heart.  When at the end of the assembly, she turned from her class that she had been directing, and faced the audience for the first time and saw that I was there, her face lit up and I was honored to be her friend. 

Afterwards, I had the opportunity to give her a hug and tell her how precious her children had performed.  I had picked up a chocolate doughnut for her on my way and wanted to leave it with her as well.  As I left, I was thinking how I had come to encourage her with my presence, but rather, I had been the one to receive the blessing.  That is always the way with God.  When we reach out in obedience, He gives us just what we need at the time.

As I left the school, I reached into the little white bag from the doughnut shop to have the rest of the half-eaten doughnut that I had started on the way to the performance. When I pulled it out, it was a whole doughnut, which could only mean that I had taken my friend the half-eaten one. I panicked, fearful that she had taken the doughnut out of the bag in front of the parents who were in her class for the after-assembly reception.  I made a quick U-turn and sped back to school.  I hurried down the hall to find her still standing in the hall talking with parents.  Quickly, without interrupting her conversation, I exchanged the bags.  She asked me what I was doing.  I then explained that I had given her the half-eaten doughnut, instead of hers.  She began to laugh and said, “I would have thought that you did it on purpose, just to be funny and I would have eaten it anyway.”  Then as I left for the second time that morning, I thought how a true friend always thinks the best of you, no matter how foolish your mistake.  And she would have eaten it anyway!