To My Dear Class Family,
I was listening to our class song this morning, and something is just sinking in. I think we are facing it: most of us are separate from each other. I praise God that there are a few of us together in certain places, such as Fountainview, Southern, and CUC. But it definitely is not the same. Others of us are going overseas, staying home, or following God's leading in other places. Even now I can't help but blink back tears as I think of all of you. And I'm serious. But the point of this is not to have a pity party wherever you may read this.
Take a little journey with me, back a couple of months, to Sunday, June 19, 2011. The Graduation ceremony is complete, and we kneel together on stage while the staff pray for us. Scott prayed, then Mrs. Roque, and then Mr. Corrigan finished with this:
"Our Lord and our God, it is with rejoicing, and yet that earthly experience of a sadness of separation, that we gather now before You, and present these young people, Lord, Your children -- young men and women prepared to go forth in Your service. Father, not prepared because of anything we've done, but prepared because Your Spirit has been upon them, because You have led them to this place and are leading them forth from here. Father, our prayer is that You will anoint each one with Your Holy Spirit; that You will touch their lips with a coal from off of Your altar; that You will cover them with the righteousness of Jesus Christ; that all who view them, who hear them, who are impacted by their lives, from here forward will know the presence of Jesus. Lord, I ask that, for those who are uncertain of what road You lead from here, that You will make that way plain. For their only desire is to follow Your will. Father, I ask that you would guard and shield each one. For the enemy will surely target his attacks at them, because the work that they can do for You is great, and he does not want to see that happen. And Lord, I ask, that just as they have learned to be close to You and close to one another, that they will play a part in Your plan now, of uniting Your people, just as this class has been united, and that they will indeed bring the gospel to all the world, because of Your greatness that You've evidenced in them. Father, we thank you because we have seen that this is Your will for them. We know You have heard and already answered this prayer, and we praise Your name. Amen."Hearing and reading this over again has touched me in a way nothing else can. Do you remember huddling under that bush in Kauai, grasping a piece of twine between your fingers, gazing around at a bunch of teenagers who once were just a class, but now are a family? Do you remember sitting in Mr. Lemon's class as one of our classmates shared a personal struggle, asking us to pray for them? Do you remember "Family Time," which was dramatically different from the old awkward, strained class meetings? Do you remember praying together as a class, singing together as a class? I sure do, and I have a feeling none of us really will ever forget. God worked a pure miracle in our class, and we didn't deserve it. Now we have the blessed benefit of this network of friends all over the world, and the compelling hope of seeing each other soon in heaven, where we'll be separate no more.
"They will know us by our love." "Seek to serve, serve to save." "To let the world see that life with Him is no failure." Let these not just be simple, cliché sayings. Let them not be just a thing of the past. Mr. Corrigan's prayer is mine as well: "And Lord, I ask, that just as they have learned to be close to You and close to one another, that they will play a part in Your plan now, of uniting Your people, just as this class has been united, and that they will indeed bring the gospel to all the world, because of Your greatness that You've evidenced in them." We have received too huge a blessing, too great an experience, to keep it to ourselves. Everything God does is for a purpose, and no less the uniting of our class. Please, from one classmate to another, from one member of the Family to the rest of you, do not let the fire die. Keep on praying for each other. Realize that God wants us to take our experiences as a class and individually, and share them, spread them, show others how to have a similar experience. God is eager to do a great work through us. Are we just as willing?
Your Friend and Classmate,