My 4th grade teacher was an evangelist . . . of sorts. At least I can affirm she had “beautiful feet.” Perhaps her example can be an example for all of us. I’ll explain what I mean down the road here. Times are different now and I get that. There are limitations as to where the word of God can be freely enunciated. I get that too. But I think we have allowed the censure of God’s life-giving truth in the PC arenas to intimidate us and influence us to be silent when we have open opportunities. Let’s use them.
I was too young and dumb to know the difference, having been raised in a household and environment where the subject and names of God and Jesus were unspoken. Surprisingly, I came to faith in my 30’s through no heroic efforts of my own. It was a struggle. And yet, much later in life and faith I recognize the truth of Hebrews 4:12 that declares “the word of God is alive and active. It penetrates, dividing soul and spirit.”
Mrs. Atwater had the liberty and seized the opportunity in my early public school days to insert God’s word into my mind, planting seed that would remain alive and active. For the academic requirement of memorization, she snuck in Psalms 23 and 100 which as a little pagan I committed to memory and have had with me all my life. God’s word is sticky! Even in the old King James! “The Lord is my shepherd.” Though I didn’t know Him, I had someone eager to lead me. “I shall not want.” Somehow, this God is a provider. “He leadeth me in the path of righteousness.” I just noted spell check doesn’t like the “leadeth” part of the verse, but I like that Someone desires to chart my life course in the right direction.
“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” Life has its terrors and threats, but “thou art with me.” So I don’t have to be afraid for long. God wants to comfort me. He says so. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Is that a description of the character of God? Were that to penetrate my little granite heart, someday life would be different, be better.
“Know ye that the Lord, He is God! It is He that hath made us.” I learned later that “all things were created by Him and for Him,” but this opened my eyes and heart to the wonder of creation . . . and still does. “For the Lord is good . . . and His truth endureth to all generations.” (Spellcheck rejects endureth too) But, as a naïve child, (I really meant ignorant), I was encouraged to consider God as good and His word to be truth, something that took years to take root where it counts.
Thank you, Mrs. Atwater. You had lovely feet. You didn’t preach to me. At least I don’t remember it. But you cared. You did what you could. You planted. Someone else harvested. “How beautiful are the feet of them who bring good news.” I finally get it and thank you. God, help me, help us to be rich in Your word and bold in its presentation whenever we see opportunity. Your word is truth. It has power. It changes lives throughout all generations. Think About It.