"So, how's your son doing?"
My wife and I get a form of this question asked weekly. Often, more than once.
It's not uncommon for parents of a collegian to be asked such questions. We received the same questions regarding our daughter when she began college.
Our son is living away from home and at a large university in our state. He's close enough that we could get to him in less than two hours (or vice versa) but far enough away that he is experiencing the freedom of faux independence.
Like many in our situation, there's not a lot of communication going back and forth. Therefore, as with most, there's more we don't know than do.
Often, I have answered the questions with any number of these responses. . .
"I have no idea."
"I hope he's okay."
"Good, I guess."
or something like that, it often seems like we don't care. That is far from the truth.
There are many dynamics regarding the question and the past two years have been anything but smooth.
It seems odd, but my wife and I KNOW that God opened a door and provided the opportunity for our son to attend this university. It was not my first (or second, third or fourth) choice, in that like most state universities, there is a spiritual void there where godless lifestyle choices and beliefs are celebrated. Oh, and just because another college or university is designated "Christian" that does not always mean that it is much different than the state universities.
Yet, even upon this campus that could be categorized as spiritually blank, there are many who love the Lord, seek to serve Him, make His name known and push back the darkness. So, as a side note, pray for our collegians and campus ministries seeking to impact lives for the sake of the Gospel. They have a daunting task ahead of them.
Nevertheless, last night it was revealed to me by God that not only are people asking "How's your son doing?" because they just can't think of anything else to say, but because they truly care for him and his heart.
These questions aren't being asked by acquaintences that met him or my family in the past month. These heart-felt inquiries are coming from men and women in my church and others in ministry who understand the challenges of pastoral life. Many of the men and women asking love my son and have known him from the day he was born. This is family and God is reminding me that no Christ-follower journeys alone.
So, how is my son?
Thank you for your prayers.
Keep praying for him. Keep praying for my daughter as well. And, while you're at it, lift up all our collegians who are expriencing "freedom" for the first time. Pray they experience true freedom. This generation is not too far gone. I beleive they will be a generation that will "turn the world upside down" for the Gospel. Let's do our part to ensure that happens.