The Right Direction, Tears All the Way
On Friday Donna and I drive Benjamin, our oldest, to Hope College to begin a new chapter in his life and ours. He and I spent a final weekend in the mountains, a lot of walking. I had the sense that’s what my role is now, to keep walking with him, from a distance now. It is a bittersweet time that feels a bit like leaving Mississippi 12 years ago: headed in the right direction at the right time, fighting tears the whole way. How grateful we are for the gentleness and character of this young man. Henri Nouwen once talked about children being our “guests.” They are not there to bring under our control but to be hosted, loved, cared for. And like guests, they leave, they have their own lives to live. No better place than the family to practice the life which my mentor John Alexander once called the heart of Christianity: “Caring for each other, forgiving each other, and keeping the dishes washed.” We’ve done a lot of all three with Ben. Now we pray the life we shared nourishes him for his life ahead.