Call it Grace

The boy stood with back arched, head cocked back
and hands clenched defiantly. "Go ahead, give it
to me." The principal looked down at the young
rebel. "How many times have you been here?"

The child sneered rebelliously, "Apparently not
enough." The principal gave the boy a strange
look. "And you have been punished each time
have you not?" "Yeah, I been punished, if that's
what you want to call it."

He threw out his small chest, "Go ahead I can
take whatever you dish out. I always have." "And
no thought of your punishment enters your head
the next time you decide to break the rules does
it?" "Nope, I do whatever I want to do. Ain't
nothin' you people gonna do to stop me either."

The principal looked over at the teacher who stood
nearby. "What did he do this time?" "Fighting. He
took little Tommy and shoved his face into the
sandbox." The principal turned to look at the boy, "Why?
What did little Tommy do to you?" "Nothin, I didn't
like the way he was lookin' at me, just like I don't
like the way your lookin' at me! And if I thought
I could do it, I'd shove your face into something."

The teacher stiffened and started to rise but a
quick look from the principal stopped him. He
contemplated the child for a moment and then quietly
said, "Today my young student, is the day you learn
about grace."
"Grace? Isn't that what you old people do before
you sit down to eat? I don't need none of your
stinkin' grace." "Oh but you do." The principal
studied the young man's face and whispered. "Oh yes,
you truly do..." The boy continued to glare as the
principal continued, "Grace, in it's short definition
is unmerited favor. You cannot earn it, it is a gift
and is always freely given. It means that you will
not be getting what you so richly deserve."

The boy looked puzzled. "Your not gonna whup me? You
just gonna let me walk?" The principal looked at the
unyielding child. "Yes, I am going to let you walk."

The boy studied the face of the principal, "No
punishment at all? Even though I socked Tommy and
shoved his face into the sandbox?"

"Oh, there has to be punishment. What you did was
wrong and there are always consequences to our actions.
There will be punishment. Grace is not an excuse
for doing wrong."

"I knew it," Sneered the boy as he held out his hands.
"Lets get on with it." The principal nodded toward
the teacher. "Bring me the belt." The teacher presented
the belt to the principal. He carefully folded it in
two and then handed it back to the teacher.

He looked at the child and said. "I want you to count
the blows." He slid out from behind his desk and
walked over to stand directly in front of the young
man. He gently reached out and folded the child's
outstretched, expectant hands together and then turned
to face the teacher with his own hands outstretched.
One quiet word came forth from his mouth. "Begin."

The belt whipped down on the outstretched hands of
principal. Crack! The young man jumped ten feet in the air.
Shock registered across his face, "One" he whispered.
Crack! "Two." His voice raised an octave. Crack! "Three..."

He couldn't believe this. Crack! "Four."

Big tears welled up in the eyes of the rebel. "OK
stop! That's enough. Stop!" Crack! Came the belt down
on the callused hands of the principal. Crack! The
child flinched with each blow, tears beginning to
stream down his face. Crack! Crack!

"No please", the former rebel begged, "Stop, I did it,
I'm the one who deserves it. Stop! Please. Stop..."
Still the blows came, Crack! Crack! One after another.

Finally it was over. The principal stood with sweat
glistening across his forehead and beads trickling down
his face. Slowly he knelt down. He studied the young
man for a second and then his swollen hands reached out
to cradle the face of the weeping child. Then the words
were softly uttered from......(may the reader discern)...

~ Authour Unknown ~

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