For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay. Habakkuk 2:3
Graduation season is here again and this year brings the end of high school for our son Javan and for Alize, the daughter of a woman we first met in our ministry to children 25 years ago. A life in urban ministry has forced me to learn lessons of patience, waiting, faith and trust that I may not have learned in another kind of life. Those lessons have not always come free of sadness. Martin Luther King once said that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. Sometimes that long arc is hard to wait for and easy to lose hope for when the present moment seems beset with the old refrain of “three steps forward, two steps back” for the children and families we love. The tentacles of poverty and unhealthy family dynamics can reach across the generations and into young lives in ways that wound still.
Chris and I have learned, over the years, to savor and delight in every little marker of life and light and hope and grace that we get to witness in the lives of the children and families we serve. I carry those little jewels of grace around with me and take them out of my pocket to enjoy and celebrate as often as I am able.
This year’s graduation is one of those jewels. We are celebrating not only the graduation of our precious boy Javan, but we are celebrating a remarkable event in Alize’s graduation. We are celebrating, through God’s grace and power, the fact that Alize’s mom Julia has been able to give her a foundation and opportunities that she herself did not enjoy in childhood. We are celebrating our friend Julia and all that she has done to give her children a safer and more secure beginning in life than she ever knew. This is nothing short of miraculous and we celebrate and marvel and sing of the wonders of God’s grace that have made this come to pass. Through so much struggle and hardship and the continuing challenges of poverty, Alize’s mom and dad have given her a better start in life. She will graduate from high school next week and has been accepted into the Power of YOU scholarship program at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and will start her studies there in the fall.
Hurray for Alize! Hurray for Javan! And hurray for the great and loving God who holds their lives and futures in the palm of his hand—where all their hopes and dreams are secured. Thanks for celebrating with us this jewel of God’s grace!