If you were in my grade 10 English class, you might know me as “Bible Girl”. Needless to say, this isn’t a name
that I chose for myself. Last fall I was publically challenged about my faith in a classroom, in a way that made me
uncomfortable, not knowing how to approach it.
My grade 10 English teacher made it pretty clear that she had strong atheist views, by continuously bringing up
controversial topics, and never once failing to tell stories of why Christians are hateful if they don’t agree with the
general public’s opinion.
She found out that my Dad was a pastor, and after that, I felt like she was trying to get me to react. While it may
have been my imagination, or me just looking for an opportunity to get in a debate, it felt like every time that she
made a pushy comment, she would look up at me to see how I was responding. One day in particular, she was talking about how, as much as she loves her aunt, she can’t stand being with her for too long because her aunt will start
talking about how much she loves Jesus. To my teacher, that was just too weird. A few minutes later, she had finally
moved on to talk about “To Kill a Mockingbird” (the reason we were there), and asked us to each share a value or
lesson that our parents had instilled in us as children. Giving in to her provocative comments, and feeling a little
pushy, I shot my arm up in the air and responded with, “That I should never make fun of somebody else’s beliefs,
and should be open to what they’re saying.” I think she got my point, which was why the rest of the semester was so
weird. I got the name ‘Bible Girl’ and she would ask me questions, like why I wasn’t allowed to read Harry Potter
(which I am, by the way). Part of me found the experience exhilarating, I felt like I was finally getting to stand up
for God, do the whole fight for the kingdom thing.
Then one day, I was doing a presentation, where she stopped me mid-sentence. She asked me to explain to the class
what the term “Foot-washing Baptist” meant, a term mentioned in my book. I butchered my answer. Like, I said
the worst possible thing. I’ve tried to block it out of my memory, but it was something along the lines of taking the
Bible too seriously. I screwed up. I felt like I failed God. When I had an opportunity to explain the idea of serving
others, I slammed the door shut. I felt badly for days.
As the guilt lessened, I started to think about how we use my words. As important as our speech is, actions still
speak louder. I tried to think about the ways that Christians had proved God to me, and I couldn’t think of a single
one. I, for one, did not come to Christ because I had lost an argument, or had been outsmarted by somebody. I came
to Him because of His love that I had seen through the way that Christians interacted with other people, through
the way that they listened to people who were broken, without judgment.
I doubt anybody remembers the way that I had answered her question during my presentation that day, but they
may remember the way that I treated people.
Even though my teacher wasn’t being very professional in the way that she treated her students, we are all broken
people, including my teacher, who need to be treated with love and understanding. I guess I wasn’t being very pro-
For the rest of the semester, I tried my best to find common ground with my teacher. Being friendly with her was
actually more uncomfortable than it was when she would challenge me, because honestly she scared me. But it
turns out that we are actually interested on some of the same things, and have a similar sense of humor. The last
thing that a bitter person needs is for people to be angry with them. The thing they really need is love.