“Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
The first time I’d heard the secret to being an extraordinarily influential leader was in a conversation with the recently named Missouri Elementary School Principal of the Year. We had just finished speaking about the event we were going to do together for his school and were making our way toward the front of the school.
I looked over at my friend, Matt Miller, and asked why his school was so incredibly successful? Why were the students and faculty thriving while so many other school districts were languishing?
He looked at me, then looked over my head, and then asked me to turn around and read the big sign painted above the doorway:
Love is the Key. [Tweet this] | [Share on Facebook]
Matt shared that he had the greatest job in the world. He and his staff got to hang out with kids every day. They got to encourage them to do their best. They got to challenge them to grow. And they got to do all of it simply by loving their students and each other.
So what does this story have to do with you?
Last Tuesday a principal that practiced that same loving mantra was outside doing what she enjoyed most: loving kids.
Susan Jordan had been educating and leading her school and these kids for two decades. And for those two decades, the way she taught, the way she lead and the manner in which she served came from a place of great love. Last Tuesday was a normal day at after school pickup for Susan.
While speaking with several students waiting for their rides, a bus kicked out of gear, jumped the curb and raced toward the small group. Susan saw the bus, grabbed the children, threw them out of the way, and was hit by the bus. She died at the scene doing what she’d spent an entire lifetime doing: loving.
My friends, we don’t become heroes through the way we die, we become heroes through the manner in which we live.
Today, honor Susan’s legacy and choose to be a living example of love to those lucky enough to know you. And choose to keep this brave woman, her staff and her community in your thoughts and prayers.
Today is your day. Live Inspired.
Do you know a person who is a living example of love? Share their story in the comments below.
2 replies on “There Is No Greater Love Than This”
I want to introduce you to Chip Pagel, a humble and loving man in his 20’s who is our Out Reach Minister at Halls Ferry Christian Church in Black Jack, MO. Chip has built a program called REACH YOUth. Chip has only been our Out Reach Minister for 3 years and began working as an intern before he started his ministry. When Chip was attending St. Louis Christian College he would work with our Associate Minister, Jon Michael Brown, with a program Jon Michael started, Monday Night Basket Ball. Several years ago there was a shooting at a church in North St. Louis County that made the evening news. The church was Halls Ferry Christian Church, on a Monday night, with youth playing basketball. No one was hurt. I was an Elder at the time and the City of Black Jack asked that we suspend the program. The program was not suspended. In 2012, Chip was hired as our Out Reach Minister and today Chip has developed a ministry filled with LOVE.
Monday night; REACH YOUth Open Gym with 30 – 50 youth playing organized games of basketball, nine square, video and board games. It is fun and exciting, I know because I am there.
Tuesday; REACH YOUth Tutoring – Tutoring students recommended from a school next to our church, Jury Elementary School.
Wednesday night; REACH YOUth Groups – A program of 20 – 30 students having fun in fellowship, food and Bible Study.
There are other programs on weekends that Chip and Jon Michael provide for the community and I can go on and on.
If this world wants to break down the barrier of diversity, LOVE is the way to do it. I have seen it with Chip, Jon Michael, the youth, and many others.
I am a Special Education teacher at Arrowhead High School in Hartland, WI. I LOVE my job. 3 years ago, we had an assembly before Prom which focused on drinking and driving. A women wheeled out in a wheelchair who was paralyzed from the waist down and gave a very “uplifting” talk about making good choices. After the assembly, I had an urge to go and introduce myself…. she invited me to her home. Come to find out before her accident, she was a special education teacher. Her husband committed suicide (she had 2 little children at the time) on the way home from his funeral she was in a car crash and left paralyzed…..
Long story, short. She now works with me 1 afternoon a week and we are quite a team. She is an inspiration to staff and the students. Sally Dillner is an outstanding person with such strong faith.
I wish you could meet her… she is 1 in a million and is changing lives of the most challenging students.