Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Exams (07/26/04)
TITLE: Student-Teacher Conference
By Lynda Lee Schab
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I knew I passed the exam so I didn't know why I was being summoned. My knees wobbled a bit as I made my way, reasons colliding in my head for the purpose of this "student-teacher conference."
I stood before him, trembling. I couldn't quite make eye contact. He was silent for a moment and I wished he would just spit it out.
"So….." he started, his eyes piercing me, looking deep within my soul.
"So…" I echoed, my voice small and meek.
"I wanted to go over your exam."
"Okay." Great. Maybe there was some mistake and I failed after all…
"How do YOU think you did?" he asked.
I finally scrounged up the courage to look at him. His eyes were dancing…ah-ha! A trick question! Maybe he wanted to make me squirm a little, humble me a bit. But how should I respond?
"Ah…I think I did pretty well." My confidence level rose slightly as I spoke, and I decided to go on. "I mean, there were some tough ones, no doubt, but I think I handled them appropriately. I gave it my best shot."
That's it? 'Hmmm----'? Just what does 'Hmmm-----' mean anyway?
His voice cut into my thoughts. "By my calculations, of the two-hundred twenty-four thousand, five hundred sixty-eight tests you were given, you passed only….." - he paused for a second, making my squirm even harder - "seven hundred ninety-two."
I couldn't help but blurt out, "How can that be? Can you recheck your notes? I'm sure that's not right! Wait - I didn't mean that. I know you can't be wrong. You're never wrong…" my voice trailed off. Saying anything else would be digging my own grave. I was so ashamed for questioning him, I wanted to die!
But I had already done that.
"So, God, can I ask you a question?" I asked boldly.
"Of course." He sat back and looked at me with loving eyes, a slight smile playing at the corner of his lips.
"By my calculations, I scored less than one percent - WAY less than one percent - on my tests. So... how could I pass? Don't I need at least, like, sixty-percent or something?" I was shocked, mortified, even! I thought I had passed with flying colors, but by every teacher's standards I should see the word "FAIL" written across my exam.
He was silent again, allowing me to consider the answer to my own question. He stared at me, warm pools of love penetrating my heart. When he finally spoke, the water rushed over me, washing away my ignorance, my doubts, and my shame.
"It's true you answered many questions incorrectly. There were many tests you failed. But the one you DID get right…THAT'S the only one that counts."
Then Jesus appeared from behind His Father, the holes in his hands and feet vivid reminders of the true test I had taken. When I asked Jesus into my heart I passed the exam. With flying colors.