Late in 1969, following exams at Meredith College, my divorced mother informed me she was financially unable to pay for my last semester of college. I’d need to drop out, work awhile, and hopefully return “on my own dime.” With deep regret, I knocked on my advisor’s door to deliver the sad news.
Dr. Leslie Syron was an especially gifted and devout saint who taught all her students to always ask, “What else is true?” Her sage advice challenged me through years of service as a mental health professional and child of God to explore all sides of a situation. This woman, who lived meagerly, looked straight into my eyes when I delivered the news and responded, “Oh, no, you won’t drop out. I’ll pay your tuition and you will finish on time!”
She did, and I did. Thirty-seven years later, upon my graduation from Campbell University Divinity School, Dr. Syron sent a personal note of congratulations; she had seen the announcement in the local paper and wanted me to know she was proud of me. Had her gift of $600, (which at the time may as well have been $60,000 to my mom) not been offered, who knows how different my life would be?
That last semester, I met the young man who would become my husband and father of my children; my volunteer work at Dorothea Dix Hospital propelled me into ten years of mental health service; and my Christian education for young women in the 1960’s grounded me for life.
God, grant each of us the privilege of being Christ’s hands and feet on earth to do likewise. “Christ has no hands or feet but ours on earth” his wonders to perform.