FIRST-PERSON: Reflections on the past 10 days
In my position as vice president for strategic initiatives and communications, I have the distinct privilege of communicating the amazing stories of how God is using Southwestern Seminary’s professors, staff, students, and alumni to reach the world for Christ. I must admit that, like you, I have been deeply shocked, confused and grieved over many aspects of events in the past 10 days. However, the events of the recent days are not the explicit story I want to tell. Rather, the story I want to proclaim is how the precious metal of the Southwestern Seminary family has shined through the dross of the events of the past few weeks.
The first precious aspect I have witnessed is the prayers of the body of Christ. Prayers for Southwestern from students, staff, faculty, other seminaries, pastors, state convention directors, past and current trustees, alumni and donors have flooded my email, voicemail and texts. The prayers have interceded for wisdom, healing, unity, forgiveness and peace. I am truly blessed and greatly undergirded by your intercessory prayers for Southwestern. I give thanks to God for each of you. Please continue to lift up Southwestern Seminary fervently in prayer as all involved walk the path set before us.
The second precious metal to rise through the dross is the demonstration of love among the Southwestern Seminary family. Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). The body of Christ on the campus wonderfully attests to Jesus’ charge. I have witnessed students, faculty and others prayer-walking the hallways and gardens of campus. Yesterday, in fact, a former professor arrived early for a meeting with the express purpose to prayer-walk the hallways. I have witnessed students, staff and professors assemble in small groups and large groups—brothers and sisters in Christ coming together. Countless reassuring conversations and hugs of encouragement for one another have occurred. Tears have been shed. Heads have been bowed in prayer, lifting Southwestern Seminary to the throne of God.
Though the Southwestern family may be confused by the onslaught of phone calls, social media and news releases, I have witnessed them time and time again react kindly, seek God, and continue to serve Southwestern with excellence. They have truly loved one another and others.
Proverbs 25:4 states, “Take away the dross from the silver, and there comes out a vessel for the smith.” Certainly, there remain challenges for Southwestern Seminary over the next few weeks. Yet, remove the questions, uncertainty, drama and Baptist polity, and I hope you will see what I have seen the past 10 days—Southwestern Seminary as a silver vessel ready to be poured out as a blessing and healing balm to the watching world via their prayers and love for one another.