As I clicked “publish” on my blog post, I had a faint hope that I would find my fifth-grade English teacher, Ms. Saucier. The blog post was titled “If Jesus were a fifth-grade teacher.”
I had lost touch with Ms. Saucier several years before and despite online searches, I had come up with nothing. The blog post was both a tribute and a last-ditch effort to find her.
The blog post didn’t make it to Ms. Saucier — not at first. It did make it to a reader named Amy. Her mom knew someone who knew Ms. Saucier, and she offered three possible contact numbers. None of them worked. I left my number with Sue and prayed that God would help Ms. Saucier and me reconnect.
Three weeks later, I got a text from an unfamiliar number. It read, “Hello Josh Rogers. My friend Sue gave me your number, and I am so thrilled to be able to say hello to you. Have thought of you often…please catch me up on your life. Look forward to hearing from you. Love you, Ms. Saucier.”
With my heart racing, I immediately called the number and waited. A woman picked up and answered with that warm, familiar voice I remembered from fifth grade.
“Hi, Ms. Saucier,” I said. “I just wanted to talk so I could say thank you.”
She couldn’t believe how hard I had worked to find her, but I told her I felt like I had to. I wanted her to know how much she had meant to me.
“My family was going through a lot back then and I was acting out a lot. I think the other teachers saw me as a problem child but you made me feel like you loved me.”
“I really did love you,” she said.
“Remember that time I wrote a short story and handed it in to you even though you didn’t even assign it?” I asked.
“I’ll never forget what you wrote on it after you read it: ‘Great job! I’ll vote for you when you run for President!’ You have no idea how much that meant to me.”
“I said it because I believed it, Joshua. I always knew you were going to do something very special with your life.”
The conversation went on for quite a while, just as naturally as our conversations did when I was a kid. And before we said a teary goodbye, she said, “I hope you know I still fully expect you to be President one day — and I’d better get an invitation to the inauguration.”
Classic Mrs. Saucier.
The other day I was thinking about Ms. Saucier and it brought to mind a story about Jesus and ten lepers – social outcasts of their day. Jesus healed all ten simultaneously, but only one returned to thank Him.
“Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine?” (Luke 17:17).
I can hear sadness in Jesus’ question, like a disappointed parent whose child shows no gratitude on Christmas morning. But then there’s a warmth you can feel when Jesus turns and says to the one who returned, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well” (Luke 17:19).
The man’s grateful return to Jesus resulted in a double blessing; and today, you can experience a blessing of your own, if you’re willing.
At different points in your life, Jesus has sent along a “Ms. Saucier” — a person who helped you feel safe and loved. Maybe, like my Ms. Saucier, it was a person whose love brought healing.
Don’t be one of the nine lepers who disappears and never returns to offer thanks. Be the person who remembers the gift you’ve received and find the one who gave it. Tell that person what he or she meant to you — tell God what that person meant to you. You may end up being the one who receives the biggest blessing.
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