"How does God see this child?"

Rather than eating in the teachers' lounge, I often had lunch in my classroom while grading papers. This particular day, however, I ate in the lounge, and the conversation centered on discipline, with many bemoaning the fact that their methods of handling serious discipline problems weren't working. My thought was drifting when suddenly one of the teachers turned to me and asked, "Well, what's the answer?" I was taken aback and thought at first that she wasn't really expecting an answer. But then I realized I indeed had the answer because I had proved it, so I piped up: "I do have the answer. It's unconditional love." I then related a short version of the following experience.

Just before summer vacation one year, I was given my class list for the following school year. As I looked at the names, my heart sank, for among them was the name of a girl I had heard every year since she was in kindergarten. She was known as being very disruptive and rebellious. In fact, no one ever had a kind word to say about her. Previously I had almost left the teaching profession because of a similar student, and I knew I needed to do a lot of growing (spiritually) in order to meet this challenge. My thought now was "Either I can spend my whole summer worrying about this, or I can study the Bible and Science and Health and gain the spiritual understanding needed to heal this situation." I chose the latter.

I realized I had a lot of fear to overcome—fear of rejection, fear of loss of control in front of the class, fear of not being able to handle this. (Nine months in school would seem like an eternity if this wasn't healed.) But in looking up references on Love, I found this powerful promise in Science and Health: "Love must triumph over hate" (p. 43). And further on it states, "Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you" (ibid., p. 571). Not only was I being assured of victory, I was being told I couldn't even be touched by hatred—divine Love was my protection. The fact is, the very essence of man's being is divine Love because God, or Love, created man as His reflection. At that point I realized that I needn't have any fear, and that instead of worrying about myself, my role as Love's reflection was to help this student.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

God blesses you and your school environment
September 9, 1996

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.