A Student Named Richard

By Marilyn Kettering Badger

July 10, 2017

“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it.” [Proverbs 22:6]

He was a very intelligent sixth grade student; sometimes a little eager boy-learner who got so excited about learning that he “wet” himself in class; sometimes the absent-minded professor type.  One time he pursued the opportunity of being the teacher for a day for a class period, making the lesson plans, making up worksheets and preparing his “teacher” presentation with the help of the adult teacher.  He left out one thing though: when it came time for him to give the lesson, he surprised the adult teacher by walking on top of the desks as portrayed in “Dead Poet Society” style, shocking the teacher behind the video camera.  You could hear her voice saying, “Be very careful, Richard.”  He didn’t have many “pal type” friends but he had many kids who respected him and his intelligence.  During discussions, they would give ideas and then say, “Ask Richard what he thinks.”  Sometimes he would ask for more time to think things through; other times he made some really profound and adult-like responses immediately.

Richard was in accelerated classes for reading.  His depth of understanding was amazing at times.  One time his reading teacher came barreling into my room.  They were having a discussion on the timing of things in life.  Richard had quoted a whole “poem”.  She asked him where he found that.  He looked at her puzzlingly and said, “Why, in the Bible – in Ecclesiastes.”  She wanted to know from me if there really was such a book and would I show her the poem about “a time for this and a time for that” from “Eccle- something or other”.  She figured that I had a Bible but she could go the library later if I didn’t.  I opened my Bible (kept in my desk drawer to be ‘politically correct’ and not in trouble with the school rules) and opened it to Ecclesiastes 3 and showed it to her.  She was amazed that – as far as she knew - he must have had it all memorized.  What a lesson of the job the church has in training up our young ones.  Wisdom from the sixth grader amazed many a teacher that year. 

Thank goodness, he had a sound Bible backing to help the explanations he gave.  Even the topic of evolution was solved in his mind with the response that if God was the creator of it all, (as he believed), then He (God) certainly could have done it in his own timing and if that is evolution then it also is from God!  Many students and teachers learned from a sixth grader named Richard with a firm Biblical foundation, a desire for sharing his knowledge, and a keen mind and a sense of humility.  Praise God!

 Prayer. God bless our youth today with knowledge that You give them. Help them share it, Amen.

Keywords: proverbs
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