Loving a Scary School Teacher

In elementary school, Helen Eddington overcame fear of her teacher, and even learned to love her.

By Helen Eddington, OK

Categories: Fear, Jesus' Commandment - To Love as He Loved, Loving and Forgiving

I remember when I was in the fourth or fifth grade, I was terrified of my teacher; everybody was scared of Miss Anthony. She was stern, crabby, and cross. If you did anything wrong, you'd be sure to get yelled at. She was unloving to me -- just plain mean.

I endured this fear of her for most of the year. But I wanted to be free. Jesus tells us, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). So I wanted to know the truth about Miss Anthony.

My parents had taught me that everybody is God's child; everyone is capable of love and of loving. Nobody is without love. So Miss Anthony was capable of love. I knew with absolute clarity that I had to love Miss Anthony.

I'm sure my mother had been praying for me because she saw how this fear of my teacher was affecting me, and she didn't like it. And it was natural for me to pray, too, to trust God with my problems. I turned to God to help me love my teacher. I knew the truth that everybody has a right to be God's child; nobody's left out -- not even Miss Anthony.

A few days afterwards, she came by my desk, as I was working really hard on something, concentrating, and she patted my shoulder and said something complimentary, like I was doing good work -- something I wouldn't expect from her. That was the healing.

I was able to love her. And the surprising result was that she felt it: she was able to love me. The interesting thing about it was that I immediately accepted her change in nature as the direct result of my loving her. This showed me that love does reflect love.