A Light for My Path Devotional

Where Are Our Desks?

DeskPSALMS 107:8
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!

In March of 2007, Governor Mike Huckabee delivered a speech to a political action group. In it he shared a moving and inspirational story of a unique history lesson taught by one of the teachers in his state. The events occurred in the classroom of Martha Cothren, a teacher at Joe T. Robinson High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social studies school teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal, and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks out of her classroom.

When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.

‘Ms. Cothren, where’re our desks?’

She replied, ‘You can’t have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.’

They thought, ‘Well, maybe it’s our grades.’

‘No,’ she said.

‘Maybe it’s our behavior.’

She told them, ‘No, it’s not even your behavior.’

And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom.

By early afternoon television news crews had started gathering in Ms. Cothren’s classroom to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.

The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the deskless classroom, Martha Cothren said, ‘Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he or she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.’

At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it.
Twenty-seven U.S. Veterans, all in uniform, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place, those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned.

Martha said, ‘You didn’t earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now, it’s up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don’t ever forget it.’

It’s easy to see why not too long after this the Veterans of Foreign Wars named Martha Cothren Teacher of the Year! Her unique and profound lesson is one we all need to keep ever before us. Indeed, our freedoms are not free! Let’s remember to pray for and show our appreciation to those serve in our country’s armed forces. The Lord has been gracious to the U.S.A. in a multitude of ways! We so often forget His goodness to us and take things for granted. We should heartily say with the psalmist, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!”

Prayer: Heavenly Father, again this week we are reminded of the great price many men and women pay so that we may enjoy the luxury of this land. Bless them, Lord. Guard them, keep them, encourage them, and reward them for their sacrifice. Bless their families as well, and meet their every need. For Your goodness and mercy to our country, we gratefully praise and adore You.

By Ann Shorb
© Ann Shorb

Skits for Fun and Learning - Puppet scriptsSkits for Fun and Learning
Skits for Fun and Learning is a collection of 15 puppet scripts and 5 articles on the subject of success with puppet ministries. The articles and scripts have been written by Dr. Ann Shorb and the book is available for purchase as a paperback, or as a PDF download.

Leave a Reply