Last Thursday we finally wrapped up the school year here at RVA. It’s plain bizarre to live in a world where some of y’all are loading up school supplies in the same breath where we’re falling over, relieved to have found the finish line.
So Thursday: I wish you could’ve stood right up next to me in the back of our chapel as our graduates walked in, euphoric. I wish you could’ve heard Mark Kinzer quote Jesus and Solomon, remind us all that the whole of our lives is meant for loving God and heaping up that love on the folks around us.
I wish you could’ve been there as Joseph recounted his years in this place, wrinkling this mother’s heart with worry for the late evening he sprinted the length of an abandoned airstrip while hyenas cackled in the dark. I wish you’d have heard him admonish his classmates to grip these memories tight, because God’s grace threads brightly through them.
I know your heart would’ve quickened with mine as Chris prayed for his class, that they’ll live in light of Christ’s sacrifice. And our throats would’ve swelled thick as the kids streamed out, leaping to smack the congratulatory sign at the back of the chapel, until it was Brenda’s turn.
Brenda has a smile that could teach the sun a thing or two, and she’s battled a host of health issues for so long, and has little use of her legs. At the close of the ceremony she skimmed the aisle on her crutches, and when she neared the back of the chapel two of the guys lifted her within reach. And though I’m sure it was just a few feet, for a moment there she hit that sign and floated higher than hope itself.
At this very second, our graduates are flung out across the globe–South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania, the States, South Korea, Uganda, Madagascar–and I want so much for the words they sang last week to be their souls’ unflinching anthem.
Give me one pure and holy passion
Give me one magnificent obsession
Give me one glorious ambition for my life:
To know and follow hard after You.
Will you pray with us, please? That they will die for Him and live for Him, that they’ll work and study and play and sing and type and garden and marry and breathe for a singular, undiluted purpose: to know Christ and to make His name famous wherever they go.