Thursday, November 5, 2015
He came home after school with a paper for his mother. He told her, “My teacher gave this paper to me and told me to only give it to my mother.” His mother’s eyes were tearful as she read the letter out loud to her child:
“Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have enough good teachers for training him. Please teach him yourself.”
Many, many years later, when he was a man, the boy’s mother died. He was now one of the greatest inventors of the century. One day he was looking through old family things. Suddenly he saw a folded paper in the corner of a drawer in a desk. He took it and opened it. On the paper was written:
“Your son is addled [mentally ill]. We won’t let him come to school any more.” Thomas Edison cried for hours and then he wrote in his diary: “Thomas Alva Edison was an addled child that, by a hero mother, became the genius of the century.”
This story has made the rounds on the Internet and is quite impressive. The only problem, it isn’t completely true! The following paragraph is:
“In 1854, Reverend G. B. Engle belittled one of his students, seven-year-old Thomas Alva Edison, as “addled.” This outraged the youngster, and he stormed out of the Port Huron, Michigan school, the first formal school he had ever attended. His mother, Nancy Edison, brought him back the next day to discuss the situation with Reverend Engle, but she became angry at his rigid ways. Everything was forced on the kids. She withdrew her son from the school where he had been for only three months and resolved to educate him at home.”
After reading this story I wondered what that teacher saw as he looked at the Edison boy? He certainly didn’t see a great inventor! Edison was dyslexic, which that teacher, nor anyone else at that time, knew how to treat. Therefore he thought Edison was “addled.”
When the apostles saw those children being brought to Jesus, what did they see (Matthew 19:13)? When the blind man shouted out to Jesus, others tried to quiet him. What did they see (Mark 10:46-52)? When the Pharisees brought the young woman caught in the act of adultery, what did they see (John 8:1-11)? If you were a member of the church in Sardis and discovered it was “dead,” what would be your thoughts (Revelation 3:1)? If you had recently moved to the city of Corinth and thought of becoming a member of the church, how would you see the congregation (1 & 2 Corinthians)?
Some have worn a small bracelet with the letters, “WWJD,” meaning, “What Would Jesus Do?” Before we can do what he did, shouldn’t we first see others as he saw them?