Prospects for good

In my first semester teaching freshman English, I had a student who was on the football team. He'd spent a lot more time learning to block and tackle than learning to write or develop his vocabulary. So his first efforts at writing compositions were pretty discouraging. He and I both began to worry that he might not receive a passing grade in the course.

One day I gave the class an hour to describe a beautiful landscape they'd seen recently. He strained and struggled with each sentence and then seemed to just run out of words. For about twenty minutes he stared into space. Finally, with a burst of inspiration, he squeezed out one last sentence—one I'll never forget. "In conclusion," he wrote, "the sight was all good-looking!"

The original turn of phrase in that sentence was a promise of good things to come for that student. He wrote some fine compositions and passed the course with no problem! But his wording—with all its jubilant freshness—became a kind of byword in our household for years afterward. Sometimes when one of us would feel discouraged with our prospects for progress in terms of career or health or academics, we'd remind each other my student's vision of things that are "all good-looking." To us that phrase hinted at the goodness of God and all His creation, at the limitless possibilities of man, made in the image of a God who is good itself.

Exploring ideas together
April 27, 1992

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.