Yesterday was another HAU graduation. Four hundred and sixty-five graduates with B.A.’s, Master’s, medical degrees or licensure of one sort and another. A day of pomp and circumstance, formality and ediquette, crowds and colors all flowing over into deep joy and celebration. For individuals who have worked hard to obtain their degree it represents an in credible achievement. For families who have sacrificed, supported and gone into debt to promote their child’s education, it represents a unified pride and future hope for a better life. For those of us who have participated in some way through teaching, administrating, supporting financially, it is the evidence of our endeavors on behalf of others.
It is easy in the day to day-ness of these endeavors to loose sight of this moment of celebration and accomplishment. It is easy in the struggles of teaching and administrating in underserved, under-developed systems and places to feel overwhelmed by the stresses and problems to diminish these moments of progress and completion. It is easy to not pay attention to this day of celebration because of all the other days of irritation and frustration. That, however, would not only be a shame and a missed opportunity for thankfulness but a negation of God’s grace and the slow turning of justice in a place that has long-suffered for it.
The word “behold” means to “see with attention”, “lay eyes on”. It’s an English word we don’t use in day-to-day language but is relegated to the stage and Christmas time. But it seems an appropriate word for this event and these graduates. So:
Behold the graduates in their accomplishments!!! Behold their families full of pride! Behold the professors, administrators, all who work at the University to combine to make this education possible! Behold the supporters and benefactors, financial and otherwise, who provide the unseen but necessary links to accomplish this task. Behold the justice of God coming down through the lives of people moving forward with hope!
Thankful we can be a part of this great movement of grace, both in the daily work and this moment of culminating celebration!