Among its many thoughtful traditions, Millsaps College finds a way to include the ordained parents of graduating seniors into the graduation events, which gave me the most wonderful gift–the opportunity to pray for all the graduates during baccalaureate–but especially for my daughter Kathryn, the only classics major in the 2012 class.
God of every grace,
In the beginning you had an idea, an image a word and that word was life. We pause for worship to give time for wonder in these days of completion that allows a beginning. Give these young lives—and ours, too—eyes for life. Let it explode in this beginning with all of your graceful energy.
This is only one ending and one beginning of many in these bright lives. Some will be chosen in joy; others washed in grief; some quick lightening; most found through diligent passage like these four years. Some will emerge only in forty or more.
Tonight we yearn—and pray—for memory,
but not the kind that holds them frozen as they are.
Give them memory on which they can stand
Until there lives are given entirely
And return into the sea of your infinite hope.
Burn and fire this memory in their hearts;
Write it on their minds.
We think this is your idea for life,
So we pray with expanding gratitude
Kathryn is a perfect liberal arts product from one of the most remarkable faith-based college traditions in the nation. She knows who she is and whose she is and why both matter. This is startling in a time when celebrity is nearly synonymous with dumb and public with mean. Extraordinary. The whole world claps its hands in delight, but especially Karen, Lauren and me.