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Mar. 27th, 2004


Jeremy was born with a twisted body and a slow mind.
At the age of 12 he was still in second grade, seemingly
unable to learn.

His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated
with him. He would squirm in his seat, drool, and make grunting
noises. At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of
light had penetrated the darkness of his brain.
Most of the time, however, Jeremy just irritated his teacher.

One day she called his parents and asked them to
come in for a consultation. As the Foresters entered the empty classroom,
Doris said to them, "Jeremy really belongs in a special school.
It isn't fair to him to be with younger children who don't have
learning problems. Why, there is a five year gap between his age
and that of the other students."

Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue while her husband spoke
"Miss Miller," he said, "there is no school of that kind nearby. It
would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take
him out of this school. We know he really likes it here."

Doris sat for a long time after they had left, staring at the snow
outside the window. Its coldness seemed to seep into
her soul. She wanted to sympathize with the Foresters.
After all, their only child had a terminal illness But it wasn't fair to keep
him in her class. She had 18 other youngsters to teach and Jeremy was a
distraction. Furthermore, he would never learn to read and write.
Why waste any more time trying?

As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over
her. Here I am complaining when my problems are nothing
compared to that poor family, she thought. Lord, please help me to be more
patient with Jeremy. From that day on, she tried hard to ignore
Jeremy's noises and his blank stares.

Then one day, he limped to her desk, dragging his
bad leg behind him. "I love you, Miss Miller," he exclaimed, loud
enough for the whole class to hear.
The other students snickered and Doris' face turned red. She
stammered,"Wh-why that's very nice, Jeremy. N-now,
please take your seat."

Spring came and the children talked excitedly about
the coming of Easter. Doris told them the story of Jesus and then to
emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the
children a large plastic egg.

"Now," she said to them "I want you to take this home and bring it back
tomorrow with something inside that shows new life. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Miss Miller," the children responded enthusiastically...
all except for Jeremy He listened intently; his eyes never left her face.
He did not even make his usual noises. Had he understood what she had
said about Jesus' death and resurrection? Did he understand the
assignment?
Perhaps she should call his parents and explain the project to them.

That evening, Doris' kitchen sink stopped up. She called the landlord
and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it.
After that, she still had to shop for groceries,iron a blouse and
prepare a vocabulary test for the next day.
She completely forgot about phoning Jeremy's parents.

The next morning,19 children came to school, laughing and talking as
they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket
on Miss Miller's desk.After they completed their math lesson, it was
time to open the eggs.

In the first egg, Doris found a flower. "Oh yes,
a flower is certainly a sign of new life," she said. "When
plants peek through the ground, we know that spring is here."
A small girl in the first row waved her arm.
"That's my egg, Miss Miller," she called out.

The next egg contained a plastic butterfly,
which looked very real.
Doris held it up. "We all know that a
caterpillar changes and grows into
a beautiful butterfly. Yes, that's new life, too."
Little Judy smiled proudly and said, "Miss Miller,
that one is mine."

Next, Doris found a rock with moss on it. She
explained that moss, too, showed life.
Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom,
"My daddy helped me," he beamed.

Then Doris opened the fourth egg. She gasped.
The egg was empty.
Surely it must be Jeremy's, she thought and of
course, he did not understand her instructions.
If only she had not forgotten to phone his parents.

Because she did not want to embarrass him, she
quietly set the egg aside and reached for another.
Suddenly, Jeremy spoke up "Miss Miller, aren't you
going to talk about my egg?".
Flustered, Doris replied, "But Jeremy, your egg is empty."

He looked into her eyes and said softly, "Yes, but
Jesus' tomb was empty, too."
Time stopped. When she could speak again, Doris
asked him, "Do you know why the tomb was empty?
"Oh, yes," Jeremy said, "Jesus was killed and
put in there. Then His Father raised Him up."

The recess bell rang. While the children
excitedly ran out to the school yard, Doris cried.
The cold inside her melted completely away.

Three months later, Jeremy died. Those who paid
their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see
19 eggs on top of his casket, all of them empty.

If this blesses you, pass it on. It blessed me and I did.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
apnate
Mar. 27th, 2004 08:46 pm (UTC)
That was fantastic. Definitely very needed for me. =)
lordxyyndragon
Mar. 27th, 2004 09:38 pm (UTC)
not really. thanks though.
farandthefair
Mar. 27th, 2004 10:54 pm (UTC)
wow.
graywaters
Mar. 29th, 2004 06:37 am (UTC)
...and that is why I spent 3 years in special ed.

Thank you!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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