Our daughter graduated from college in May. My husband and I have been to many college graduations, but this one was different. It wasn’t different because it was our daughter, it was different because she graduated from a Lutheran college.
Our past experience with Catholic college graduations we have attended has been that there’s an opening prayer and that’s the last we would hear about God. At my daughter’s graduation, not only was there an opening prayer, but God was interwoven in all the speeches thereafter. It was refreshing!
Each speaker talked about God’s role in their lives and although the speaker had their own plans, God seemed to make Himself known to let that individual know that He had His plans for them. From the student speaker to the president, God was spoken of in a way that my husband and I hadn’t heard in a very long time.
From the time my daughter arrived on campus, she was welcomed and nurtured for her chosen field. The smallness of the college gave her the attention that she hadn’t received at the secular and more prestigious college she had attended. During her religion classes, she asked a lot a questions about the Lutheran faith and she shared her Catholic faith with enthusiasm and conviction, challenging her professors when she felt her questions weren’t being answered.
On graduation day, I spoke with two of her professors. Both of them looked me in the eye and said, “If you need anything, let us know.” I didn’t know what to say.
My husband and I spoke about our experience for several days after the graduation. It takes a lot to impress my husband and I could see that he found the graduation to be a satisfying experience. The hour and a half moved quickly and neither of us felt bored.
As a Catholic, I wondered what I could learn from my Lutheran brethren that I could implement in my own faith:
- Don’t be afraid to talk about my faith. Speak about it and tell my story how God has worked in my life. The speeches we heard were told in loving voices that didn’t “preach” or sound prideful.
- Be nurturing. By that I mean, help others along the way of their life’s journey no matter who they are and what they believe.
- Warmly invite people to church. My daughter was always invited to attend prayer services even though it was known she was Catholic.
- .Look people in the eye and say, “If you need anything, let me know,” and mean it.