It's all about the love!

 Theresa and her students at Sherwood Heights Elementary

Theresa and her students at Sherwood Heights Elementary

She stuck her head around the corner and peeked into the office, “Mrs. Owens’ I need to talk to you.” I knew without looking up that this child just needed to touch base. The issue would not be anything more than someone said something that she, more than likely, took the wrong way. This child needed someone to look at her, listen to what she had to say and reassure her that she is loved. As we finished our conversation, I stood up, came around my desk, gave her a squeeze, headed her back to class and told her “I love you, have a good rest of your day.” This is something I repeat often in the elementary school where I am the principal. You see, I believe, “it’s all about the love.” When we demonstrate love to people either with our words or more importantly our actions, we share the love of Jesus. As a public school educator I have never had to deny my beliefs while in the work place. Sure there is a “separation of church and state,” and I don’t waltz around the building singing, “Jesus loves me,” but I am not afraid to stand in for Jesus when appropriate and tell/show people I love them. With a servant’s heart I am not above plunging a toilet, cleaning up some child’s vomit in the hall, taking over for a teacher who needs a moment for themselves, serving food in the lunchroom, cleaning up a scrape or cut from an accident on the playground or any other thing that is necessary to help a another school family member in need. Because I love my staff and students, I choose to take up the cross every day and bring it into the school. I don’t preach the gospel in the building, rather I live the gospel.  I love my neighbor as myself, I show I care, I demonstrate patience and love, even in the most trying situations.

Occasionally, I wear a t-shirt to school with the word Love boldly printed down the front.  It is a favorite of my kids, as even the little ones can read that word. Typically when they read the shirt aloud, I respond to them with “You know, it’s all about the love.” Typically they respond with a quizzical look that infers that I am off my rocker.  Recently, I thought about the phrase and came to the conclusion that it really and truly is “all about the love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 states “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.” And Paul tells us that we must “Love one another, for love is of God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). Even Jesus, when asked by his disciples, “Which is the greatest commandment in the law?” replied “Love the Lord your God with all your heat and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment and the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40 Wow, this is seriously good stuff and we can’t ignore it. Jesus is basically saying, “It’s all about the Love!”  

So it really doesn’t matter where we as Christians spend our days, whether it is in a business office, a home, a factory or as the “mother” of close to 400 children in an elementary school; there are countless opportunities to demonstrate love. Let’s be all about the love with everyone we meet, regardless of the person or situation. Let’s show His love to the world with small gestures and big hugs. Let’s change our world with demonstrations of the most powerful emotion and commandment, love!  

I challenge you to start speaking the language of love wherever you find yourself. I’ll help you get started . . . “I love you, thanks for reading and have a great day!”

- Theresa Owens