The peace and love of the Father are the qualifications we need to share His love.
By Sheri Wohlfert
When I was a third grader, Mrs. Depperschmidt was my teacher. I have more memories of that school year than any other elementary year. I learned a lot that year: academic stuff as well as important life lessons.
A new commandment I give to you: love one another as I have loved you. (John 13:34)
Mrs. Depperschmidt taught us how to spell her last name (no kidding — it was a spelling word); she taught us how to multiply, how to write proper sentences, and how to say “Sit down and be quiet” in Spanish. She taught me how to be kind and concerned without being a “mother hen” and she made me feel like a brilliant reader even though I was nowhere as good a reader as my friend Penny. I remember wanting to be more like both of them.
Mrs. Depperschmidt often shared stories of her experience as a 4-H exchange student in South America. I thought that made her the bravest woman I knew; she even had 4-H business cards with her picture on them. That made her famous. I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. I’m blessed for more reasons than I can count, and having a long list of wonderful people like Mrs. Depperschmidt influence my life is the reason.
One of the biggest reasons Mrs. Depperschmidt had such an impact on my life, and probably the lives of all of her students, is that she valued us. She respected the way each of us was creatively made by God. If we were to make a list of all the people who had a positive impact on us, most of the names on that list would be there because of the way we were treated by that person. We each have the capacity and the responsibility to teach and demonstrate the value of human life. It happens one soul at a time … one kind action; one generous deed; one unselfish gesture … that’s how it starts.
Twelve simple men without specialized backgrounds, training or credentials set out to spread the Word and Promise of their good friend Jesus … and those twelve simple, virtually unqualified men absolutely changed the world. We are called to follow in their footsteps. We, in many ways are just like them: faithful, humble, unqualified friends of Jesus who simply HAVE TO set out on a mission to spread the message and change the world.
The peace and love of the Father are the qualifications we need. Luckily, we have all been equipped with both … now let’s get to the business of sharing them. It’s impossible to be disrespectful of life if love, peace, and respect are the pillars of all we do and say. When you get up out of your chair and start your mission, don’t forget to look back and thank some of those people in your life who valued, respected, influenced, and inspired you. Then go return the favor by doing what they did!
Blessings on your day!
Sheri Wohlfert is a Catholic wife, mom, speaker, and teacher who writes from Michigan. She uses her sense of humor and her deep faith to help others discover the joy of being a child of God. Sheri also writes at JoyfulWords.org.
All content copyright © Today’s Catholic Teacher/Bayard.com. All rights reserved. May be reproduced for classroom/parish use with full attribution as long as the content is unaltered from its original form. To request permission to reprint online, email firstname.lastname@example.org.