NLSW Devotion Day 4: Loose Laces2 min read

“[Jesus said:] For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17 ESV).

There they are … the elementary teacher’s nemesis … untied shoelaces! Loose laces bother me. I worry about kids tripping and falling. I worry someone else will step on those laces and I’ll have two kids in tears. I’ve even seen kids run right out of their untied shoes.

It’s one thing to see preschool and Kindergarten-age students with flopping laces. I’m happy to stop and help those children who can’t tie their own shoes. But I teach second graders! My students should know how to keep shoelaces tied! I shouldn’t have to help a 7 or 8-year-old tie their shoes, should I?

So I try to rationalize why my students need help. Maybe their shoes are brand new and the laces are too stiff to stay tied. Or maybe those shoes are hand-me-downs with laces so badly knotted the new owner just gave up. Those thoughts motivate me to stop, smile, and ask, “Can I help you with that shoelace?” And usually a little head nods, and a scuffed shoe juts out, as a quiet voice says, “Yes.” Then I get down on my knees and tie that loose lace.

However, as we go out for recess in the middle of January, my attitude changes. Now, I have to take off my mittens (I’ve learned to use them as knee pads), kneel down and, with stiff, cold fingers, try to tie those laces. I sigh and think, “Really? Shouldn’t he/she be able to keep these laces tied?”

But on my knees in the middle of that frozen playground, the Holy Spirit reminds me how Jesus humbled Himself. He came to earth to die on a cross for my sins. Just like my sweet second graders, who should know how to tie their laces, I sin when I should know better. My sins are loose laces tripping me and causing me, and maybe others, to fall away from following Jesus. But when I ask for help and forgiveness, Jesus reaches out to me in mercy, forgives me, and sends His Holy Spirit to guide me on my way.

So now, when I bend down to tie yet another pair of shoe laces, I whisper a prayer of thanks to my Heavenly Father for sending me a Savior who, instead of condemning me, loves me enough to forgive me over and over again.

Subscribe to Blog Button

About the Author

Rebecca R. Wisnieski is retired but works as a teacher aide at St. Paul Lutheran Preschool in Ann Arbor, Mich.

More by This Author