This Easter, I want to recognize a particular teacher I knew as a kid. Miss Ann and I attended a country church in Oklahoma during the early 1980s. She was the first Sunday school teacher I can remember from my childhood. There may have been others, but Miss Ann taught me in a plain-spoken way. Her instruction shaped my life.
Miss Ann and I reconnected on Facebook sometime back, and I decided to drop her a line.
We all go through life wishing we had told others what a difference they made in our lives.
Dear Miss Ann,
I’m not sure if you remember me. Back in the late ’70s-early ’80s, you were a Sunday school teacher at Deer Creek Baptist Church. I visited there with my grandparents and parents and, when I was 8, asked Jesus into my heart and was baptized there.
We all go through life wishing we had told others what a difference they made in our lives. I want you to know what a difference you made in my life prior to me becoming a Christian.
I remember sitting in your Sunday school class, captivated by your teaching ability. In one class we discussed the habit of smoking and how it is very unhealthy. My parents and grandparents, at the time, smoked, and I was so ashamed and afraid of this habit. Would they get sick? You seemed to offer our class words of wisdom that I have never forgotten. God loves us no matter what our “filthy habits” are. That made a difference to me back then, and it continues to today. We are not saved by our works, but by the mighty grace of God, you said.
I’ll never forget praying to ask Jesus into my heart in the fall of 1981 not long after attending one of your classes.
This email may seem odd since we haven’t seen each other nor spoken in years. But there was some reason God allowed our paths to cross, first in that sweet country church and now on Facebook. You are an *amazing* teacher, and your teaching made an eternal difference in my life.
Blessings to you,
Note: A version of this letter appears in my book, Confessions of a Lip Reading Mom.
Readers—National Teacher Appreciation Day is May 6. Let me know about your favorite teacher by commenting below. Or better yet, drop that teacher a line like I did.
What a beautiful tribute to your Sunday School teacher! The greatest teacher I had was a mentor of mine when I was in my 30s and returned to work when my son was five years old. She awakened the writer in me and taught me how to help others to write through compassionate editing. When I left that company and became a consultant, helping to win a multi-million dollar contract proposal drive through my writing and editing skills, I sent her flowers. We stayed in touch until she died in 2004, and I thanked her many times for what she had helped me achieve. Thanks for allowing me to share this memory.
Thank you for your kind words…and for letting me know about your special teacher.
Shanna – I, too, had a group of amazing Sunday school teachers – most of whom are already in heaven. My favorite teacher, though, was Thelma Van Boskirk. She taught grades 1-4 in our country school and sometimes at recess, she would play duets with me on the piano. She treated me like I was someone who mattered in life, like I was important to her. I did tell her often throughout the years how much I loved her. She was one reason why I have a degree in education.
RJ – What a beautiful tribute to your special teacher.