Story of the Day for Friday October 5, 2012
Where They Found Bread
Jesus said, . . . “Everything they do is done to impress others.”
When I was in seventh grade, our Science and English teachers were both single, and I think they were flirting.
After Science, we tumbled into Miss Polk’s English class. She noticed someone’s assignment given by Mr. Brinkman, our Science teacher. Snatching the assignment, she copied it on the blackboard (white boards were black in those days) and we spent the class period parsing it for grammatical flaws. We were all sobered to discover that it was a gravely flawed exhibition of the English language.
Miss Polk encouraged us to hand our revised copy of his assignment to him the next day – which we cheerfully did.
People who know a lot about sub-phyla and nematodes are not easily intimidated, and Mr. Brinkman took our chastisement in good humor. You could tell, however, that he was plotting revenge. He asked us to participate in a science experiment for English class next hour, and we all eagerly complied – because we all coveted a well-rounded education.
Mr. Brinkman asked us to engage in an act of civil obedience. He told us to walk into Miss Polk’s class without saying a word. He wanted us to be a model of perfect behavior.
The next hour, we quietly walked into class and took our seats. No talking, no laughing, no gum chewing. We all put our hands on our desks and stared attentively at Miss Polk.
At first, Miss Polk look surprised, but we noticed she was becoming unnerved by our attentiveness. As she started her lesson, and stared at a classroom where every face was focused on her every word, she became increasingly agitated. After five minutes, she waved toward the door and said, “Class dismissed.”
A classroom of perfect children is so eerie and unnatural that it soon becomes unbearable. Yet, sometimes, Christians get the impression that the world would be impressed if we acted perfect – as if we were unaffected by grief or temptation.
A plastered pious smile, when inwardly our heart is broken, looks phony — because it is phony. And when we try to hide our imperfections we look like a bald man whose toupee is sitting on his head sideways.