I placed my box of broken pieces just outside the room, opened the door and went in. I’d pick it back up when I left, as usual.

Twenty minutes later it happened fast and caught me completely off guard. I read terror on her red face as she ran towards me, clutching both fists to her chest. Her pleading, pouring eyes looked up into mine as  I wondered what would cause a 7-year-old to display such sudden grief and panic in the midst of an otherwise joyful Sunday morning gathering of 2nd graders.

Her body shook and her sobs muffled what might have been words. I frantically stooped down and placed my hands on her shoulders. I would have taken her hands, but they were still tightly dug into her heaving chest. Was it a medical emergency?

“What’s wrong Taylor?”

“It’s…it’s…sob, sob, sob…heave, heave, heave…”

I stooped more. “You have to tell me what’s wrong or I can’t help you, Taylor. Please tell me!”

It took everything she had to open up one hand to allow me a tiny glimpse of a broken necklace. It was obvious she feared I might take it. She explained through the sobs that this necklace was a gift from her mother and father, and “Now”, she yelled, "It’s broken!” More sobs, unending sobs.

I felt such love for this child. But though my hands were extended, she didn’t even hear me say, “Give it to me. I’ll fix it for you!” Oh, how I wanted to fix it.

At that moment my sanctified imagination showed me a picture of Jesus standing behind Taylor and facing me. He reached over her shoulders to place His hands on my shoulders, and as I looked into His eyes of love for me, I heard Him speak through my own mouth.

“Taylor! Jesus wants to fix anything in your life that is broken, even when you’re all grown up. See how I can’t fix your necklace because you won’t let go of it? I want you to always remember this broken necklace. If you don’t let go, Jesus can’t fix it.”

She never did release it to me, although she did stop crying. Her expression morphed into one of wonder as she was probably wondering what I was talking about. The truth is that I would have stopped at nothing in order to fix what she carried that was broken.

As usual, after class, the kids went home and the classroom was cleaned up.

And as usual, I picked up my box just outside the door when I left.

I took one step and stopped.  Silly me. I thought I was the teacher. I never forgot that broken necklace.

“Teacher, they said…” Mark 12:14

“And He will be called Wonderful Counselor…” Isaiah 9:6

“I will counsel you with my loving eye on you…” Psalms 32:8