A gray sweater hung limply on Tommy’s empty desk, a reminder of the dejected boy who had just followed his classmates from our third-grade room. Soon Tommy’s parents, who had re- cently separated, would arrive for a conference on his failing schoolwork and disruptive behavior. Neither parent knew that I had summoned the other.


Tommy, an only child, had always been happy, cooperative, and an ex- cellent student. How could I convince his father and mother that his recent failing grades represented a brokenhearted child’s reaction to his adored parents’ separation and pending divorce?


Tommy’s mother entered and took one of the chairs I had placed near my desk. Then the father arrived. They pointedly ignored each other.


As I gave a detailed account of Tommy’s behavior and schoolwork, I prayed for the right words to bring these two together to help them see what they were doing to their son. But somehow the words wouldn’t come. Perhaps if they saw one of his smudged, carelessly done papers.


I found a crumpled, tear-stained sheet stuffed in the back of his desk. Writing covered both sides, a single sentence scribbled over and over.


Silently I smoothed it out and gave it to Tommy’s mother. She read it and then without a word handed it to her husband. He frowned. Then his face softened. He studied the scrawled words for what seemed an eternity.


At last he folded the paper carefully and reached for his wife’s outstretched hand. She wiped the tears from her eyes and smiled up at him. My own eyes were brimming, but neither seemed to notice. He helped her with her coat and they left together.


In his own way God had given me the words to reunite that family. He had guided me to the sheet of yellow copy paper covered with the anguished outpouring of a small boy’s troubled heart.


The words, “Dear mother… Dear daddy… I love you… I love you… I love you.”

一件灰色套衫搭在汤米的空桌上,让人想起这个情绪低落的男孩,他刚随同学从三年级教室出去。汤米最近分居的父母马上就要来学校,讨论他每况愈下的学习成绩和捣蛋行为。父母双方都不知道对方要来。

汤米是个独子,一直生活幸福,乐意合作,而且是个出色的学童。我怎能使他的父母相信他近来学习成绩下降是一个心碎的孩子对他敬爱的父母分居和即将离异的反应呢?

汤米的母亲进屋后坐在我放在我桌旁的其中一把椅子上。不一会儿他的父亲也来了。不错!至少他们还够关心他,能准时来校。他们之间交换了一下惊奇和气恼的眼色,然后明显流露出无视对方的神色。

我详细叙述汤米的表现和学习情况,苦苦寻求恰当的词语以图把他们俩撮合在一起,帮助他们认识到他们的所作所为给孩子造成的后果。但是不知怎么的就是找不到适当的话。或许如果他们看看汤米的一纸脏污、漫不经心写的作业……

我在他桌子深处找到一张皱巴巴的满是泪痕的纸。那是张英语作业纸,正反两面潦潦草草地写满了字,但不是布置的作业,而是翻来覆去的一句话。

我默默地把它捋平,递给了汤米的母亲。她看完后没吭一声给了她丈夫。他先是皱着眉,而后脸色变温和了。他仔细盯着潦草的字看了似乎无穷无尽的一段时间。

最后,他小心翼翼地折起纸,把它放进口袋里,手伸向他妻子伸出的手。她擦去眼里的泪水,抬头朝她的丈夫露出笑容。我也热泪盈眶,但是他们俩谁也没注意到。汤米的父亲帮妻子穿上大衣,然后俩人一起走了出去。

上帝以自己的方式给了我使这一家破镜重圆的词语,他把我引向了那张满是一个小男孩苦恼心情的痛苦倾诉的黄色作业纸。

那张纸上写着:“亲爱的妈妈……亲爱的爸爸……我爱你们……我爱你们……我爱你们。”