Events test faith, our community in unexpected ways
Some weeks are just harder to live through than others.
In the last few weeks at Lipscomb, we have experienced an unusually large number in our community facing sudden, life-threatening and serious health emergencies. An amazing student tragically killed in an automobile accident. A faculty member with an aortic aneurysm whose life was saved because of great medical care in our community. A student whose father was almost fatally injured by a falling tree branch and is still in coma, a staff member who suddenly lost vision due to a retina detachment. A young academy student athlete lying motionless on the field of play after a serious blow. It’s been a season when we have been reminded how fragile life can be.
But what has come out of this is something we at smaller universities value and probably don’t talk about much, especially at faith-based institutions: a strong sense of community. On several occasions in the past few weeks we have stepped out of our academic robes and wrapped our arms around friends and families facing difficulties that no one should shoulder alone. We have gathered at hospitals, we have gathered in prayer, we have gathered in hallways and classrooms to figuratively and literally surround hurting community members, to in some small way offer them more shoulders and arms and feet to carry them through what they are facing.
In the crisis of such moments, we also see miracles. The miracle of an academy student who survived a serious car crash without any lasting injuries. The miracle of trained physicians — gathered in a matter of minutes — to perform life-saving surgery. The miracle of people all around who not only do their jobs but also demonstrate their compassion and get others through difficult times. While explaining the health challenges is difficult, being thankful for the miracles we see is easy.
This is my inaugural presidential blog. My first. And I look forward to doing this every few weeks. I had given a great deal of time thinking through what the best topic would be to interest readers and reflect a little of what Lipscomb is all about. Should it be our growth? Our vision? Our plans for expansion and program development?
Well, all of that is important, and very much a reflection of who we are.
But in recent days I have been forcefully reminded that there is something about us that is even more important: our connectivity to each other and how we walk out our faith, our love and our caring for each other in crisis.
I want our first foray into this very technical form of communication to be what is least technical about us, our heart.