Divine Love dissolves limits, re-forms lives

Listen and love. Those may not sound like radical ideas for educational reform. That is, until you hear of their impact on the lives of children and young people. In interviews with seven educators, the Sentinel explored the basis of the love and the listening that can make a difference. All but one of those interviewed work in public schools, so words such as God and prayer aren't part of their daily dialogue with students. But their work still grows from spiritual truth. As an introduction to each of these educators, here is a sample of themes they will be discussing in this and two other articles to come in future issues.

"Christ Jesus talked about being the shepherd. A shepherd doesn't hit his flock and poke it around. A shepherd guides, leads by love, is gentle, protective, alert. I think that is what we educators are doing—shepherding," observes Dan Littlejohn, who teaches fifth grade in a Wisconsin school where students' families cover the economic spectrum, including some who live in motels instead of houses. "Every day I have to step back and reassert the fact that I am a child of God and they are children of God. Lots of these kids' lives are horror stories, but no matter what, divine Love is still supreme, and Love will cure."

Heather Littlijohn, who teaches third grade in a different school in the town where husband Dan works, comments, "No matter what the family structure—whether it's a single-parent family, a foster parent, or a mom and dad in the home—I need to know that each of those children is fathered and mothered by God."

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Safe in the environment of God's love
September 11, 1995

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