read to feed the soul
Written by FBJ Women for Women
by: Camille Anding
‘For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you . . .’” Says the LORD, who has compassion on you.”
On a recent trip to visit our grandchildren and to keep them for an over-nighter for their parents, it was my assignment to check homework and sign worksheets for the day’s work just completed. When I was handed a neat page of addition – rows of them – it catapulted me into my childhood. It screamed: SPEED DRILL!
The memories flooded over me with the same nauseating sensation. I could hear my fourth grade teacher’s voice: “When I say go, turn over your math sheet and begin.” My hands grew sweaty as I reached for my yellow pencil. The winding of her timer meant there was no time to run and no place to hide. I wanted to tell her that I hated speed drills – that I considered them torture, but we couldn’t speak during tests. I wanted to raise my hand to go to the restroom, but you couldn’t leave your seat during speed drills. I wanted my mother or . . . a power outage . . or a tsunami! Where were those desk-shaking earthquakes when you needed them?
The timer was in place, and the sound of the guillotine crashed on my head. I grabbed my pencil and attacked the first row. Some were easy, but some required fingers. As I descended the rows, I needed fingers AND toes. Surely the timer had to be about to ring, but I wasn’t finished! But at least its ring meant that I could breathe and my heart would stop pounding – that is, until we exchanged papers and began checking our answers. The dreaded check marks could ruin the remainder of my day. Why couldn’t we check the ones we got right or circle the rows of correct answers?
I didn’t realize it them, but the speed drills and tests were just the beginning of life’s cycle of testing and sorting and grouping. Mankind has always found a way to “grade” whether by appearance, clothing labels, income, family tree, or any of an infinite number of classifications.
That’s why my discovery of God’s grace left me dumbfounded. One wonderful day I realized that there’s nothing I would ever do or not do that would make Him love me any more or any less. “But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children.”Psalm 103:17. A steadfast love – an everlasting love – what a love! He loves ME; He told me so – check marks or no check marks.
Wonderful, Merciful Father, thank you seems much too small an expression for Your love to me. You see me, not as I am, but as I am to become. How marvelous, how wonderful is my Savior’s love for me!! Amen
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