Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Reading (01/25/07)
TITLE: Miss Louise
By Joyce Sykes
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But, back to Miss Louise. Lynn, my best friend, kept asking me over and over to go to Sunday school. Each time I would run home and ask Mom. ‘Wait till you are older,’ was her constant reply. Finally one day, came those magical words. ‘Yes, go ahead. But you better behave.’
Even now, over forty years later, the memory of that first Sunday is clear. I was up at the crack of dawn, with my favorite dress, fancy laced edged socks and black patent-leather shoes. I had no idea what Sunday school or church was about, but I was going to learn that day. The church was just across the street from Lynn’s house and she lived about five blocks from me.
Impatiently, I waited the seemingly long hours until Momma let me go, after I listened carefully to her instructions about behaving, being polite and especially about being quiet. My steps were just short of a sprint as I hurried down the street, fearful of being late and missing one second.
Hand-in-hand, Lynn and I crossed the street and began making our way up the sidewalk, but instead of entering in those huge double doors with the big white poles at the front, she pulled me to a smaller pair of doors leading to what Lynn called the Sunday school building.
Minutes later, after sitting in a large room with a bunch of kids and a few adults singing songs, we were dismissed to class. Then I saw her, Miss Louise. She sat there smiling, waiting for her class of giggling, wiggling silly seven-year-old girls to enter her domain. At a single sentence, her ‘little ladies’ as she called us sat down quickly. I copied everyone else and quickly sat down beside Lynn.
Then this nice woman began reading. She read from this old black book. I didn’t know what it was, but it sure looked used. As her words began to flow, I could almost see the images of her little story. She spoke about this man walking on water. It was the silliest thing I had ever heard, but the strange thing all the other girls listened to it and acted like they believed it. I was amazed but I kept my mouth shut like Momma said.
After she read for a few minutes, hands began flying up and questions were coming from every direction. “Calm down, ladies, I will answer all your questions. Now, Sue, what was your question?” One after the other; ‘How could Jesus walk on water? How did He know where the disciples were? Did He really calm the storm by a single word? Why did Peter begin to sink?’ What was even more amazing was Miss Louise had answers. Several times, she would remind them about a memory verse (whatever that was), and other times she would flip the pages in that old black book and read something else.
The funny thing was that every time she spoke the name of Jesus, she would get a funny little smile and a soft look in her eyes. It was as if she loved that name and it was very important to her. I sure didn’t understand all of this stuff, but I was sure hooked. When a little bell rang outside the doors signaling the end of the class, I quickly joined the ‘Oh, man’s and ugh’s’ with the rest of the class. I knew I would be back, if Momma would let me.
Years later, I realized that each time Miss Louise read from that old black book or quoted a verse, she was stirring up fallow ground in a young impressionable heart. Then she planted seeds. Some started growing right then and others laid dormant until just the right time. Yep, I can sure remember Miss Louise. And all I can say is “Thank you, Lord, for the readers of Your Word.”
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