Sunday, February 12, 2006

Children's Message: Epiphany 6 - Year B

Suzie was terrible at math. So much so that she had to go to special classes for math because she simply couldn’t keep up with the other kids in her class. The other kids – even her friends - would make fun of her as she went to her special class.

“Hey Suzie,” some kids would shout, “have fun in nursery school!”

Or other kids would tease her saying, “Are you on your way to your ‘special’ class?”

Suzie didn’t like the way they said the word “special” as if it were something bad. But she would laugh at their jokes, even if she didn’t really find their jokes funny.

“I just can’t do math,” she would think to herself, “Is that a crime?”

One day, while sitting at her desk in her special math class, her teacher came in and announced, “Today, we’re going to do something different. Instead of adding up numbers, I want you to write a story using numbers as characters.”

“H’uh?” asked Suzie, not sure what the teacher was asking.

“I want you to write a story, but instead of people in the story, I want you to use numbers,” the teacher explained. Suzie still wasn’t sure what she was supposed to do. But she pulled out her note pad from her bag and started to write.

“Okay, lunch time!” the teacher announced after what seemed only a couple minutes.

“Lunch time?” thought Suzie, “But I only just got started.” She turned in her paper and headed for the cafeteria.

The next day as when the teacher gave her the story back, she saw something on the front page that she hadn’t seen before in math class – she saw an A! And next to the A was a note from the teacher,

“Well done, Suzie,” it read, “If it’s okay with you, I’m going to submit this story to the school newspaper.”

That night, as Suzie was setting the table for dinner, her dad came into the kitchen.

“Suzie, I talked with your math teacher today and he told me about your story. Great job, sweetie,” her dad said kissing the on top of her head.

“Yeah, but who ever heard of writing a story in math class, even if the characters were numbers?” replied Suzie.

“It sounds like your teacher knows that some people learn one way and other people learn another way, and that’s okay, even if the other kids tease you about being in that class. Now they’ll know how smart you really are when they read your story.”

“Maybe. We’ll see,” said Suzie.

“This sort of reminds me about that bible story where Jesus heals the guy with leprosy. When folks saw the man all they saw was his disease, all the things he couldn’t do. But when Jesus saw him, he saw a person who was more than what he couldn’t do. When Jesus healed him, he showed others how God saw him; a person God loved. ”

“He did?” asked Suzie.

“Yes,” replied her dad, “and your teacher saw the same thing in you. He saw that there was more to you than just someone who had trouble with math. He saw a little girl who probably had a wonderful imagination. And he was right.”

Suzie smiled.

Dinner was ready. And as they say down to eat they said a prayer like this as we do now: Dear God, thank you that you see in us more than we see in ourselves. Amen.

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