A missing 20%

Having just been reading some of the mark sheets for my final year project, I have come across an interesting mark scheme. I had naively assumed the mark which I received would be somewhere in the range 0-100% (inclusive). While this is true, I have found it is impossible to score outside of the (again inclusive) range 15-95%. And there was I thinking that daft marking procedures were left behind at school to be replaced by sensible people at university. Apparently not.

Successful but sinful

Lesbian teacher’s affair with a pupil

was the shocking headline of an equally shocking story in the free Metro newspaper yesterday. The story goes as you might, from the headline, expect. It takes place in an independent London school which charges parents the not inconsiderable sum of £13,000 to have their children educated there. A 26-year old trumpet teacher has been caught in (and admitted to) a five-month long lesbian affair with a pupil she taught, and has been suspended and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register.

Helen Goddard must have seemed to have everything she could want. She was a prodigious trumpet player from a young age, even performing in an Olympic opening ceremony before finishing school. She was young, beautiful and had a good job in a prestigious establishment. She seemed popular and could surely want nothing more.

But her earthly success is tinted by (now public) spiritual failure. She is, like the rest of us, a sinner. In her case this worked itself out in a headline grabbing scandal. For most of us it is easier to conceal our wrongdoing, but it is equally impossible to be rid of it. Sadly Helen’s ability on the trumpet will not be considered by God on the day of judgement. Neither will her career record. Only one thing will be considered – her perfection. Or more accurately, her lack thereof.

Unless she has faith in Christ. I am obviously unable to comment on whether or not she has that saving faith, but if she does then her eternal destiny rests not on her own (lack of) perfection, but on Christ’s perfect perfection. What grace it is on God’s part to forgive all who come to him. We may hide our evil hearts from our friends, but we cannot hide them from God. Let us be thankful, if we are His, that our salvation relies on Christ alone and not our respectability.

As an interesting side note – how would our churches treat Helen Goddard if she came to worship on a Sunday morning? Would we exhibit Christ’s grace despite knowing what she has done?