Few who read this will remember ink wells in the right hand corner of their school desk. Ours were made of iron with seats and desk tops made out of oak. We learned to write in script by copying the letters of the alphabet written across the top of the black board in our rooms (which eventually became green boards). I had one teacher whom God used, when I was in the fifth grade, to put a spark in my life that I have never forgotten. Mrs. Biggerstaff had given us a writing project to be done in the class. It was to copy an essay of three or four paragraphs. When we turned in our papers, she promptly separated them and asked me to stand. I was in shock. I can still remember the shutter of fear that went through me.
She then announced to the class that my paper was the best. To be honest, I can still feel the surprise. What had I done to deserve such recognition? The first three paragraphs were about a common subject. The last paragraph had nothing to do with the rest of the essay. Actually, it was a fluke. It just did not make sense to me, and I did not feel like writing anymore. S0, I walked up and handed my paper in. Nobody was anymore shocked than me, but from that day on I learned to pay attention to detail and the story line.
The greatest lesson was not that I had received the highest score in the class of children who were much smarter than I, it was that I felt good about myself when I walked out of her room that day. She was a great teacher because she inspired me to believe in myself like no other teachers before her. In all honesty, it is my prayer that, in some way, I will be to you what Mrs. Biggerstaff was to me, i.e., to help you see yourself as God sees you, through eyes of possibility and love.
We believe in you! We love you, we need you, and we want you!
Cleddie and GayNell Keith
I love the line attributed to Alexander Pope, “An honest man is the noblest work of God.”