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10.09.2010

STEALING JESUS

When I was seven years old I was in 2nd grade.  I loved everything about being seven.  Literally it was my favorite year as a kid say under the age of 12.  I loved it for so many reasons - I was still small enough for my dad to carry me around either in his arms or on his shoulders and, my 2nd grade teacher was my favorite elementary school teacher.  It was her first year of teaching making her young, idealistic and highly creative.  I loved her and her free style of creating outside the box and letting you be you.  It resonated with my spirit even at seven.  Still to this day I can remember thinking that I didn't want time to move forward.  I always wanted to stay seven.  One day I told my dad, "Dad, I don't want to get older - I LOVE BEING SEVEN!"  He laughed and picked me up.  There is one blemish on my year seven though.  Even as a kid I loved to know things.  I mean I wanted to know why about most everything.  Even if I didn't always ask, I investigated most things to study them, to figure them out.  My second grade Sunday School class met in the old church basement.  It was actually kind of dark, musty smelling down there with furnishings that seemed to be as old as God Himself.  In the corner room where my class met there was a kidney shaped table with small little people chairs on the outer edge of the table with the teacher's chair on the inside facing us.  On the one wall was a built in cupboard with material hanging over the front of it for a make-shift cabinet door.  The room was relatively sparse and archaic.  Mrs. Stump was a seemingly old woman when I was seven and I loved her gentle spirit.  She was never harsh or portrayed God as mean or scary.  I liked that about her, a lot.  What I noticed though was that we had student books but she had a teacher's lesson book.  From where I sat at the table I could see that she had words and pictures in her teacher's manual that we didn't have in our student workbooks.  That piqued my interest and thirst to know stuff.  What was in her book that I could benefit from.  I mean, was she holding out the good Jesus stuff on me.  Every week I would go to class and well, honestly I would focus on her teacher's book and how much I wanted it.  It became the consuming focus in my head during class.  How could I get it?  One day after class I dawdled back to see what Mrs. Stump did with that teacher's book.  I carefully watched her place it in that cabinet with the material for a door.  She gathered her purse and Bible and went upstairs to church.  Here was my opportunity.  I cautiously looked around.  I mean I knew enough about this whole Jesus thing to know that I would have to be quick in taking that teacher's book for my own or God Himself would see me:)  Quickly I picked it up.  My heart quickened with a bit of fear, but more from excitement of the knowledge that I held in my hand.  If I remember right I hid it inside my student workbook so no one would notice it.  When I got home from church that day I poured over each page - amazed at how many more words and smart things were in her book.  I felt all of a sudden way older and way smarter than seven.  I'm not sure how long I kept that contraband teacher's book until guilt racked every square inch of me.  I, with deep remorse and big crocodile tears, confessed to Mrs. Stump returning the book to her.  She flowed with grace and love to me - forgiving me in a grandmotherly way as I explained why I wanted it.  I think I might have seen a small smile dance in her eyes.  What sort of kid makes the first thing they steal a Sunday School teacher's guide - a Jesus book!!  Me:)

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