I often wonder what happened to Miss McClure. When I was a teenager, she was a young teacher, with a love of tweed skirts and bad haircuts. Miss McClure taught Religious Education and she cemented my already developing doubts about Christianity. Clearly, that was not her intention when she confidently informed me that my disability, a left sided limp, was as a result of my sinning. All said with a knowing smile. The information that she too had been blessed by the Lord with an affliction, did not help my distress. I limped off to the library in tears where Mr Moles, the Latin teacher told me that she was a silly ignorant woman and to ignore her nonsense. To cheer me up he gave me a mug of tea and a novel about a homosexual relationship.
After that, rebellion, all pre planned and orchestrated by me. Miss McClure just couldn’t manage to maintain any form of discipline. She would beg us to sit and read aloud some bible story without putting on an accent or a deep voice or a squeaky voice. We disregarded that. We persisted in wanting detail on the logistics of the virgin birth. She would blush and tell us not to think we could get away with suggesting that any teenage pregnancy in Belfast in 1967 was similarly begat. What if the Angel Gabriel chose me, that was my question? After all I’ve been previously chosen by the Lord for an affliction. That was enough for Miss McClure. She told me to leave the lesson and stand outside in the corridor. I demanded a chair, due to my disability, and poor Miss McClure gave me one. She fell for every trap.
I was removed from her lessons, and she left the school shortly after that.
I wonder what she’d think about the pill that sorted out my limp. I hope that she too had an easy escape from her affliction. I think she put a useful swerve into my spiritual journey, so thanks for that Miss McClure wherever you are.
Submitted by Sue Ruben