DOZ Issue 37 November 2018 - Page 6

By Gloria Pierre Dean ESSIE’S LESSON L ittle Essie is the church’s favourite child, I think.” She is the Pastor’s granddaughter, and everyone smiles at her but not for that reason. It is not because she is exceptionally pretty either. In my opinion, her long curly hair and freckles seem to endear her to us older women who have grandchildren. She has a happy demeanor, runs everywhere and is always busy doing something. There are other beautiful children, but they are less engaging. Maybe I am biased. She shocked me one day when she walked in with her mother and had tears flowing down her face. All greetings were met with silence. She would not greet anyone. “Essie,” I asked, “what is wrong?” Her mother shook her head and shrugged her shoulder saying “She won’t tell me either.” The young children went into the DOZ Magazine | November 2018 back room for their classes, and I forgot about her as the service proceeded. Halfway through the service, I felt a tug on my arm. I turned to see Essie. In the back room doorway, her Sunday School teacher beckoned to me. I quietly got up and went back with her. “Essie wants to say something to you,” she said quietly. As I sat down beside her, she produced a pen out of her pocket. It was my pen that I had lost weeks ago. “The lesson today was on the Ten Commandments,” said Anna, the teacher. “Thou shalt not steal” is our topic. She is shaken up a bit to hear that God specifically wrote these words”{Exodus 20:15}. Essie turned to me and between sobs said, “I found it on the floor near where you sit. I should have returned it to Grandpa, but I did not.” 6 I freely admitted that it was a pretty pen and must have attracted her. “Essie, I forgive you,” I said as I hugged her. “You have been an honest girl, and you must forgive yourself. You did the right thing by returning it.” I add with alacrity “ Will you do me a huge favour?” “Yes,” she said with her old smile. So I say to her “Please keep the pen. It is my gift to you for being honest. Keep it in your bag and tell Mum when you get home.” I continued quietly “Please learn from this, Essie and do not ever take anything that is not yours. I love you, Dear.” The lesson from this must be; do any one of us ever feel tempted to take something that is not ours? Well, as a child I was, but the dread of my strict father and God’s Words in my spirit stopped me. So, in conclusion, we do not condemn or cast stones at Essie because as Jesus said: “If anyone has no sin, cast the first stone!” {John 8:7}