In Praise Of Teachers

April 24, 2008
by Mary Daniel

Exodus 35:34 – And he hath put in his heart that he may teach. (KJV)

Psalm 71:17 – O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. (KJV)

Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (KJV)

From the moment we are born, we are being taught. First, it is our parents, and then slowly, others are integrated into our lives: grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, babysitters, Sunday School teachers, school teachers, friends. We learn even from those with whom we are not friends.

I have a lot of respect for teachers, although the fact that we have some in our family may make me a little biased, or perhaps it is that they too, have taught me — taught me what teaching is all about — and it certainly seems to become more involved and difficult as the years progress.

Ask anyone, and more than likely, they will be able to recall a teacher or two who sticks out in their memory, who made an impression of some kind with them.

While I have school teachers who fit that category, I also remember a Sunday School teacher of my youth. We lived on an airport base, and so the classes were in his home. We would read from the Bible, talk about what we'd read, offer a few prayers, and sing hymns. I can still picture the living room in which we had those classes. Indelible in my mind is his singing What A Friend We Have In Jesus. I think it was his favourite, for we seemed to sing that one a little more often than others. Forever after, whenever I've heard or sung the hymn, the memory is vividly with me.

Time moved, as did we. Our families remained friends, but distances caused the friendship to dwindle to Christmas cards. Then my parents passed, and the connection slowly ceased — until a little over ten years ago when I began writing for Daily. One person who replied happened to be my old Sunday School teacher. He and his wife were subscribers to Daily.

That teacher's name was Harvey Freeman. He had it in his heart to teach. He supplemented what our parents taught, and for me, at least, led to my not departing from it as I age.

Harvey died on March 3rd, a faithful servant to the end. I believe he was truly home for Easter, meeting face to face the friend of whom he sang in the hymn more than 50 years ago.

Prayer: We give thanks, O God, for all those who selflessly choose to teach, especially those who teach Your Word, for they are often the unpaid, unsung heroes. We give thanks also for those whom You inspire with words to the songs of praise — songs that reinforce the friend we do have in Your Son, Jesus. In His name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Mary Daniel <marydee@shaw.ca>
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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