Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Stephen's Egg

Stephen’s Egg

 

 

It was obvious that eight-year-old Stephen’s mental retardation

was becoming even more severe. His Sunday school teacher did

her best to include Stephen in the classroom activities and to avoid

situations which might prompt his classmates to make fun of him.

 

In April, she gave each of the eight children in the class an empty

L’eggs pantyhose container (plastic egg) and instructed them to

place inside the container an object that represented new life in

spring. Fearing that Stephen might not have caught on, and

not wanting to embarrass him, the teacher had the children

place all the containers on the desk so that she could open them.

 

The first had a tiny flower in it. “What a lovely sign of new life,

said the teacher. One of the students couldn’t help but erupt,

“I brought that one!”

 

Next came a rock. The teacher assumed this must be Stephen’s

since rocks don’t symbolize new life. But Billy shouted that

his rock had moss on it, and moss represented new life.

“Very good, Billy,” agreed the teacher.

 

A butterfly flew from the third container and another child

bragged that her choice was the best of all.

 

The fourth container was empty. This must be Stephen’s,

thought the teacher, quickly reaching for a different one.

 

“Teacher, please don’t skip mine,” interrupted Stephen.

 

“But it’s empty, Stephen.” said the teacher gently.

 

“That’s right,” said Stephen, “The tomb was empty, and that

represents new life for everyone.”

 

Later that summer, Stephen’s condition worsened and he died.

At his funeral on his casket, mourners found eight L’eggs

pantyhose containers, all of them empty.

 

The true story of Stephen reminds us of the hope we all have

because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “For as in Adam all die,

so in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22)

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