It’s Friday, April 9, the day known by many as Good Friday, and the university is closed down for the day by the governor’s proclamation. I’m pumping gas at the station across the street from the church building, bracing myself against the gusts, when I notice a 60-ish, dignified looking black man drive up in an older black Cadillac. Sitting in the middle of the front seat is a woman, obviously his wife, and an elderly woman to her right. In the back is a pre-teen girl beside her older brothers, two big, strong, football types.
The man gets out to head me off as I make my way in to pay for my gas. “Excuse me, but can you tell me how to get to East Texas State?” he asks.
I point across the street to married housing. “That’s it,” I say. “What building are you looking for?”
“Admissions,” he says.
“Well, I can tell you where it is, but I’m afraid it won’t do any good, ’cause the whole school is closed today,” says I. I give him the directions anyway. My eyes follow him back to the car, then drift to those two big, strong boys in the back. Must be high school seniors, I think to myself. Their father must be really proud of them. Too bad the drive over was pointless.
But maybe the drive has a point after all. Maybe the point has nothing to do with filling out admissions forms and presenting transcripts. All that could wait another week. Maybe the point is having such a great spring day to be together, full of hope and anticipation, hearts beating faster and faster, especially those in the back seat.
“So this is the town! So that’s the University! I didn’t realize how big it would be! What’s that over there? This is gonna be just terrific! Really cool! Thanks for bringing us, Dad! Thanks, really.”
Scripture says, “The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him” (Prov. 23:24, NIV). I have no way of knowing if that family is godly, but I can see what they have going for them. And seeing the bond of love so obvious in their family makes me look forward to the day I will drive my sons and my daughter onto a university campus, looking for the admissions office.
Thank you, Father, for giving me this little glimpse of what you intend a family to be. Thank you, Father, for tying us to one another and challenging us to make that tie a bond not a bondage, a service not a servitude. Thank you, Father. Thanks, really.