There it lay, its brittle pieces scattered on the classroom floor…Miss Dierness’ Christmas ornament.  My little first grade brain was horrified at the accident I had caused. There was no way I could glue back together the bits and pieces of ornament.  It was shattered.  I liked Miss Dierness but my fear far out shadowed my affection for her.  I was certain she would become very angry at my clumsiness.  After all, my own mother repeatedly reminded me of my bungling ways.  So I did what any self-respecting small child would do – I quickly brushed the pieces away from view.

To this day, I don’t know how Miss Dierness discovered the deed; maybe there were red pieces of glass still scattered on the classroom floor. I remember the terrible moment when she asked the entire class who had broken the ornament.  My face burned with shame as horrible images flew through my mind.  Would I be sent to the principal’s office? Would I be spanked? Since my mother taught in the same building, there is no way I could keep being paddled a secret from Mother.  But after the moments stretched into minutes, I tearfully raised my hand and announced that I had indeed brushed by the tree and broken the ornament.  It was my fault.

Tearfully looking up, I saw compassion in Miss Dierness’ eyes.  She thanked me for acknowledging what I had done and then she went on with the regular classroom activities.  There were no angry words from her mouth, no pronouncement that I was the stupidest girl in the class, no forced march to the school office.  All I received was a thank you for saying the truth. I was stunned and speechless. 

Thank you Miss Dierness for loving this broken child who was terrified of adults and tended to indeed be very clumsy.  You showed me to that I could be loved and you began the process of mending this shattered child.  Thank you, Miss Dierness for introducing me to grace.


Delight in helping women to discover wholeness in their "New Normal".