I received this story from one of our members and was greatly blessed by
reading it. It shows how we have the potential in life to do great things,
but sometimes we lack the encouragement to move forward. I hope this
message blesses and inspires your heart to encourage someone who's feeling
down and bless those who are not as fortunate as you are. You will be
showing God's love through your positive and uplifting acts of kindness.
There is a story many years ago of an elementary school teacher. Her name
was Mrs. Thompson. And as she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the
very first day of school, she told the children a lie. Like most teachers,
she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same.
But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his
seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.
Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn't
play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he
constantly needed a bath.
And Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson
would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen,
making bold X's and then putting a big "F" at the top of his papers.
At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each
child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last. However, when she
reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise. Teddy's first grade teacher
wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly
and has good manners...he is a joy to be around."
His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student, well liked
by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal
illness and life at home must be a struggle."
His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death has been hard on him. He
tries to do his best but his father doesn't show much interest and his home
life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken."
Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show
much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and sometimes sleeps
By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself.
She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents,
wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His
present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy brown paper that he got from a
grocery store bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of
the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found
a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that
was one quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children's laughter
when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing
some of the perfume on her wrist.
Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, "Mrs.
Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to." After the children
left she wept.
On that very day, she quit teaching reading, and writing, and arithmetic.
Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular
attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive.
The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the
year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class, and
despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became
one of her "teacher's pets."
A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that
she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.
Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote
that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still
the best teacher he ever had in his whole life. Four years after that, she
got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd
stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college
with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still
the best and favorite teacher he ever had in his whole life.
Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he
explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a
little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and
favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer--the
letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.
The story doesn't end there. You see, there was yet another letter that
spring. Teddy said he'd met this girl and was going to be married. He
explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was
wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the place at the wedding
that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom.
Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the
one with several rhinestones missing. And she made sure she was wearing
the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last
They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear,
"Thank you Mrs. Thompson for believing in me. Thank you so much for making
me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference."
Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, "Teddy,
you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a
difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you."
By Elizabeth Silance Ballard
If each person on the earth took interest in someone who was discouraged,
this world would have been such a better place. Just because we are late
in being encouragers, that does not mean that people are without hope. We
each have the ability to invest time in someone's life and help make a
difference that cannot be erased. (John 15:11-17) (Hebrews 3:12-13)
I encourage you to be caring towards that person that God has laid on your
heart. Say a nice word when no one else does and show the love of Christ
through your life, and let that person know that you care for them and are
praying for them. Simple acts of love like this can make a difference
that is life changing. I encourage you to try for yourself and see.
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
John 13:34-35 Jesus declares "A new commandment I give to you, that you
love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By
this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy;
love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does
not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in
iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…"
1 John 3:16-19 "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.
And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has
this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart
from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let
us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we
know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him."
1 John 4:7-11 "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and
everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does
not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested
toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we
might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that
He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved,
if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
All scriptures can be found in the New King James Version.
Today's Selected Poem: WHAT DOES HOPE DO FOR US?
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/enpoem114.htm
In Christ's Service,
Gods Work Ministry