Have you ever felt punished because you are a quiet person? I have, though I understand why the teacher moved her rowdy, disruptive student next to me in second grade. He stirred up drama, and I had no interest in participating in his drama. I’m sure she hoped that being my seat mate would compel him to give up his pursuit of mischief long enough to get his school work done.
My hope was that he’d just go away.
The No-Drama Mama
We all look better online than we are in person, right? So in case I come across as the perfect little angel, I confess that I stole the scotch tape and smuggled it into my desk. And I wasn’t sorry I did it.
Even though I was guilty of theft and deception, I managed to return to kindness and thoughtfulness. This is likely because I knew I needed a Savior, and this knowledge made it easier to show compassion to others in the same boat.
Teacher, I Need a Piece of Tape
The classroom was covered with slips of colored tissue paper and sticky handprints. Somehow, the students whose stained glass-appearing art projects had fewer colors finished first. Because mine had to be fancier than Robin Gustafson’s, it took me several days to complete.
When the glue soaked through the tissue and melted the color, I carefully peeled it away. Often I’d rip away an area where the glue had already dried. Though scotch tape was a perfect remedy for the torn tissue, our teacher wasn’t liberal dispensing it, so I sneaked ours from home.
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man” (Proverbs 3:3-4 NIV).
The Mostly Good Girl
Rowdy Boy struggled with his piece, too, and after observing his frustration I offered him a piece of my coveted tape. His eyes focused on my hand like he couldn’t believe I’d be nice to him after the not-nice-ness he’d dished out. His rambunctiousness seemed to mellow out after that, like maybe I’d earned his consideration.
The scripture promises if I hold on to love and faithfulness I will win favor with God and man, but I don’t know if sharing my tape caused Rowdy Boy or anyone else to look on me more favorably. What I understand, though, is the “in the sight of God” part. Favor with man may come later, but for now I have to leave that to God. His favor is what I desire.
I think I owe my parents $1.65 (plus interest, accrued over 50 years) for a new roll of tape. Perhaps that’s where “favor with man” will start.
by Kathy Sheldon Davis