Early remembrances of childhood have memories of being blamed for wrong doing in the schoolyard. I did not forgive easily. God has His ways of teaching us that He knows what is best for us!
On one occasion, I became quite angry and frustrated when I was blamed for writing with chalk on the brick exterior walls of the school. It was my first occasion that I was with some girls who had “borrowed” chalk from the classroom and brought it to the schoolyard for recess time. The usually writing on the walls that I had seen earlier was about some girl’s crush on a boy, e.g., Suzzie loves Johnny. When the recess attendant, a teacher, saw the writing on the wall, she recalled who was at that wall during recess. And since I was with the group, I was painted guilty with same brush stroke. I did not like being blamed for something I did not do. No defence could change this judgment. We all had a verbal reprimand. This left a bitter taste in my mouth. Guilt by association….Hmmmmm!
However, at another time, later, when I was with the group and trying to impress upon them that I had “courage” and had “borrowed” chalk from the classroom, I did my bit of writing on the school brick walls. The girls seemed to be impressed and I thought that I had a good thing going, until the recess attendant came up behind me and began to blame me for the mess on the walls. Oh my! My cheeks grew hot and I could feel tears ready to fall from my eyes. Fear gripped me! I was responsible for the writing this time and there was not just a verbal reprimand but a consequence assigned to me to “clean the bricks” with water and a brush. The principal advised me that I was deserving of the blame for the chalking on the school walls and that I needed to come to him with an apology when I was done my punishment.
At that time, I was not a happy girl. I was not sorry. I was embarrassed that I got caught! By the time the bricks were cleaned, I was feeling remorseful that I had done it. I came to the principal and apologized. The principal was very kind and gracious and said that this was a light reprimand and that I had better not be a repeat offender.
In hindsight this was a good lesson for me. I had much to think about while scrubbing those bricks. I had never liked the look of the chalk writing on the school walls. I did this “deed” with the hope to get peer attention and approval. The school looked awful with the chalk writing. The persons who I had named with my writing had been embarrassed. The girls who I had been trying to impress thought I was deserving of my punishment and did not offer to help me clean the bricks. The best understanding came last. I had not shown respect to the school, the students and teachers, and especially the persons whose names were displayed on the bricks. I was looking for respect and acceptance at the cost of disrespecting others and the school building. I learned that I had better choose better “friends” that would not entice me to do things that are wrong and that I did not need to try to impress those types of friends again.
As an adult, this lesson has been seared into my mind and heart. Now, as a Christian, because I love God, and know that He calls us to love one another, first I seek guidance regarding my choices from Jesus Christ in prayer and scriptures. This early lesson is a guidepost regarding loving others and respecting their property and personhood. I no longer strive to gain attention and approval from peers. I am to be forgiving to all those who try to lead me away from Jesus and His desire for me to be a blessing to others. Yes, I have forgiven those “friends” of my childhood and myself! And, I have asked God to forgive me for all my part in both incidences. Thank you Lord you rescued me from myself!
In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God. (Psalm 31: 1-5)
When I come to my Jesus, He blesses me with His peace, and His love, His approval, His wisdom, His courage, His discernment and His understanding of receiving everything needed from Him. In Him I am complete. I have God! I have everything!
Copyright © Gloria Winn, all rights reserved.