Ask and Trust

I’m sharing this story to illustrate how simple acts of trust can change lives all around us. Do you know how fortunate we are to have an unseen force that we are connected to and that this super intelligent power wants only the best for us at all times?

Here is one little tale to bring home my point. In the late 70’s my family moved to Kingwood and joined a little Methodist church. We made lots of good friends as membership expanded to the point of needing a new sanctuary. I volunteered one year to teach the 5th and 6th grade Sunday school class. Little did I know at the time what challenge awaited me involving a mentally challenged boy who attended every Sunday.  Keith walked to church alone and I don’t believe anyone had ever met his parents.

I came to that first class all prepared by my Methodist Teacher’s booklet for the Sunday lesson. I soon found out I was unprepared for that particular group of kids.  Adolescence is a difficult time for youngsters.  They are trying to transition into junior high and manage the feelings they are now having for the opposite sex. They are very impressionable at this age and can easily be influenced by adult concepts and ideas.

There was my precious Keith, talking loudly and disrupting the class at every opportunity.  This in turn prompted the rest of the class to try and shout him down.  They seemed embarrassed and shamed by his behavior in front of a new teacher. Bless his heart his appearance did not help matters. His hair was thick and straight and seemed to have been slicked down with water which would dry in various spots that caused it to stick straight out. He wore high top laced boots and his pants were inevitably too short for his long skinny legs.

I did the best I could to get through the lesson and left that day feeling disappointed in the way I handled the children. That week I was in prayer and reading through the next lesson when I realized I needed to start addressing the situation with Keith. So I planned a lesson of my own and decided to take my guitar. I had purchased a guitar in preparation for taking this class. Although I did not have a singing voice, I had been teaching myself to strum some chords for a sing-along with the children.

The next Sunday I took Keith aside before all the kids arrived and asked about his family. He said they did not go to any church.Then I asked, “Keith, do you like to sing?”  I explained that I had brought my guitar and since I was not so great at singing I had a favor to ask. “Will you help me out with the songs today?” I asked pleadingly.

I saw a look of wonderment fill Keith’s ever widening eyes and he said very calmly, “Of course I will Mrs. Schuller.  I know all the songs,” he assured me with a big wide grin. The lesson that day was about respecting one another in spite of our differences and how God loves variety.

“Just look around at all the different flowers, trees, and animals. There are birds and bugs and fish of all kinds, some really beautiful and some kind of creepy looking, I said. Now when it comes to people, God mixes us all up to look and act differently. We’ve got people from China and Japan from the East. Can you think of other people with different skin color or who speak a different language than English? The children started raising their hands and named off all kinds of countries. When I left class that day I felt so satisfied and grateful for the guidance that had led me to construct and plan my own lessons for that class.

The entire dynamic of the group began to change that day. They all got the message and it was brought home when at the end of class I strummed out some songs and Keith’s voice could be heard distinctly at first and then the rest of the children seemed emboldened to raise their voices as well. Thereafter I planned out all my lessons for the class and it was a great experience for me and for them. I was very proud of their change in attitude and respect for each other.

A few months later I got the idea to write and produce a puppet show. I made the puppets and Keith was among my selection for the cast. He learned his lines and delivered them perfectly.  The Pastor came to our production and asked if we would perform for the whole congregation and of course we were thrilled to do that. I found out that Keith’s parents had come to church to see the puppet show. He was beginning to be accepted as just one of the class and there was no more friction or uncomfortable moments for the children.

Towards the end of my teaching year Keith’s parents attended a church service and I met them. It was all I could do to keep the tears away as I shook their hands and bragged on their son. Tears of joy and gratitude would flow later at home as I relived the meeting with them.

And so, I learned in the most beautiful way how trusting in a loving God to lead the way can impact lives in ways I could not foresee.  Just by relating this incident to you, I am encouraged to live more consciously aware of how God may prompt me to respond at any given moment to those who come into my life, even if only briefly. I hope it has been the same with you and we will all continue on to make the world a better place, won’t we?

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Ann Kelton
    Jun 11, 2014

    How awesome is this 🙂 and what an encouragement you were to Keith and I bet he remembers this and you with fondness. I like him have been so encouraged by you and I thank God that he caused our paths to cross. I try to start my Day by asking God who it is he would like me to encourage. I hope you are well and I so look forward to the day our paths cross once again <3

    • Bea Schuller
      Jun 12, 2014

      Ann,

      I miss our little Seeker’s Club meetings. It all started with Eckart Tolle’s book The New Earth. We quickly found our own realities and how many books have we been through I wonder? I praise God for social media and the ease of publishing these days. We can give and receive an abundance of insight and encouragement which speeds us along on our journeys. Thank you for your sweet comment, I’m with you in Spirit!

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