Thursday, April 17, 2008

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...

Psalm 23
The LORD, the Psalmist's Shepherd.
A Psalm of David.
1The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. 3He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. 4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. 6Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
In the beginning of my second grade year, our family moved from a small town in Arkansas back to Fayetteville, where I had been born. I had to start a new school, make new friends, and get a new teacher. I remember that day vividly. Cheryl and Sarah became my fast friends and Mrs. Marilyn Martin was my teacher.

Mrs. Martin was the kind of teacher that always smiled and never got angry with her class. She seemed to like all the kids. I always felt welcomed in her class from day one. Everyday, after the class said the pledge of Allegiance, Mrs. Martin would read the 23 Psalm to the class. I had always gone to church, but to hear the 23 psalm regularly, really made an impression on me. I can't help but think that for some kids this was the only time they would hear that comforting psalm.

One day Mrs. Martin didn't read the psalm. I asked why. "I am no longer allowed to read it" she replied. Some decision had been made by the Supreme Court and we were no longer allowed to hear such comforting words.

She passed away Monday. She had moved to Joplin, MO after her husband died a few years back. Today she will be buried. She was 75 years old.

I really liked her and she will be remembered as one of those 'really neat teachers.' You know the kind--the ones that are in it for the right reasons.

She will be missed, but I know she is already dwelling in the House of the LORD forever.


Auburn Kat said...

She sounded like a wonderful woman!

Cheryl Wray said...

Oh, Kelly, this is the most beautiful tribute to Mrs. Martin. I always remembered her as just one of those sweet, kind souls. She was always so patient with us and seemed to love teaching children. How lucky we were to have her!

(And, isn't it strange what you remember? I don't remember the Psalm reading at all, but I'm sure that it was something that lent to my understanding of her as a sweet soul.)

I have been thinking about her since your email, and also called my Mom to tell her. Mom said that she remembers her as one of my best teachers.