An intensely artistic person with a gift for taking physical objects and designing a spiritual flow using color, pattern, texture, lighting and space, Linda creates an experience in her public school classroom. Linda employs all her passion and creativity to accomplish the goal of championing children. She views herself as an undercover agent whose goal is to affirm the identity and the great destiny of each child which God assigns her. It works! Parents vie for their children to be assigned to her class.
(Hope Streams’ Living Water painting is original prophetic art by Linda.)
A public school teacher, Linda always loved and set boundaries for her students, never allowing them to put each other down. However, the most momentous change in her spiritual approach to her students came the year she started incorporating the CD set Developing Your Spirit by Arthur Burk. Quietly, she played the CDs on the lowest possible volume on her computer during class. In addition, she played them before and after school as she crafted lesson plans or graded papers. The room became saturated with the sound of these spirit-based blessings. As a result of playing the CDs consistently in the classroom, Linda discovered that she had keener ability to recognize her students’ specific struggles, her patience increased noticeably, and her students’ performance on annual state-mandated assessments improved dramatically.
One year, Linda worked with a friend who crafted name blessings based on their historical meanings and the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of key Scriptures. When she presented the name meanings in bookmark form to the class, a couple of children had questions. Linda seized the opportunity and honored each child by reading and explaining the meaning of their name to the class. As she had already developed a culture of team-playing, respect, and looking each other in the eye, each child’s name was read to the cheers of the class. The children’s eyes sparkled as they discovered new facets of their unique God-given identity. Linda allowed them to place the bookmark on their desks as they took the state-based assessment test. That point of contact and her continuous encouragement propelled the children to achieve a higher score as a class that year in a district known for its mediocrity due to its “disadvantaged” status in the community.
Having learned the power of blessing with spirit ministry, Linda determined to employ it in her public school classroom. Since teachers are limited in their expression of faith in the classroom, Linda resorted to another form of creativity. When she led the Friday math competition, some students approached their turn in line shaking with anxiety. Linda knelt down to look them in the eye, knowing that truth is communicated from eye-to-eye contact. “Repeat after me,” Linda said to the trembling student, “I can do this.” When she began this exercise at the beginning of the year, the anxious students responded, “But, I can’t!” Still maintaining eye contact, Linda replied, “No, that’s not true. Say, I can do this.” A couple encouragements later, the student repeated “I can do this” while looking Linda in the eye. The truth-fire in Linda ignited a flame in the child. This is undercover blessing in action!
Invariably, those same students went on to beat their opponents. The other students stood in amazement because the students who Linda took through this process were overtly insecure, often very small, and usually had some sort of speech or mental disability. The other math teachers present during the competition often laughed with joy and disbelief as they witnessed those “disabled” children accomplish a seemingly impossible feat.
To Linda, however, this process is neither vague nor mysterious. She believes in the power of truth to transform. “I literally feel the transformation as it is happening. I love transferring God’s love and truth from my eyes to theirs,” said Linda. She does not even use the term, “I bless you.” Yet, the effect of Linda’s kneeling to acknowledge and honor that child’s presence and taking the time to convey truth from her eyes to theirs is that they are blessed. The effect of that blessing is evidenced when those children then go on to face and to beat their opponent. That simple exercise both helps the child to perform well at the math competition and to build a memory of success which God will use throughout his or her life.
One morning while driving to school, her mind settled on the math benchmark test her three fifth-grade math classes would be taking that day. “I speak peace and success over all these children,” spoke Linda boldly. The atmosphere in the classroom felt significantly different that day. Of the 70 students, 69 passed the difficult assessment. “I knew their success had been hugely influenced by the simple blessing spoken over them,” said Linda.
(excerpt from Perfect Peace by Crystal Wade, 2010)