Head of School Blog
Susan Tyree Dempf, Ph.D.

Your Heart is Not Your Own

Greetings Academy families and friends,

Thank you to all who attended last night’s Back-to-School Night! We were so happy to offer this event once again in person, and it was terrific to see so many in attendance. Your participation is a wonderful affirmation of the partnership between parent and teacher, parent and school on behalf of your children. Thank you again for your presence.

Recently, a line from a television ad caught my attention. It was an advertisement for some medication — I have no idea which one . . . and while the product did not catch my attention the final line of the script did. It went something like ‘after all — your heart is not your own.” This thought has stuck with me, and I invite you to ponder it as well.

‘Your heart is not your own.’ There is truth to this. We who belong to this community of Christ’s heart understand this deeply. In each encounter with those we love, a little portion of our heart is given to them. In return, they share their heart with us. This giving and receiving comes in the form of shared ideas, dreams, and desires. It comes in the form of shared loss and longing. We trust in each other to safeguard and cherish that bit of our heart and the love we share.

This comes easily when we engage with those who love us in return. The real challenge comes when we are called to share our heart with the stranger or even more, when we are called to share it with those who do not love us in return. It is in those moments when perhaps we most acutely practice the giving of a heart that is not exclusively our own.
The events covered by the news media in these past weeks and months challenge each of us to grow in understanding and grace. They speak of the essential need for hearts that are not ours alone. Images that greet us each morning or in the evening as we prepare meals for our family uncomfortably invite us into a world in real need of our hearts. Hearts filled with love; love given freely by God to be shared with those most in need.

With the start of a new school year comes the opportunity for each of us to begin anew, to revisit our commitment to see and experience the needs of others. Academy Alumni will do this as they engage in a Day of Service on Saturday, September 11. Friends and family of the late Jeff Strickland will do this on September 18 for the first Strickland Day of Service in his memory. Academy students will grow in this understanding as they engage in service projects across the school year.

May this year be one during which each of us, like Christ, offers our heart and the love present, without reserve.

United in mission,
Dr. Susan Dempf