By Pastor Jerry Selleck,
Holton United Methodist Church
I attend a Graduation ceremony, and those names are called as the graduate steps up to
receive the diploma, you have no problem figuring out where the students parents and
family are sitting. They jump up and down, hoot and holler, take pictures, clap, and make
their pride known. And if you look around, you will also see a lot of tears. I know
parenting is a most difficult and unpredictable job, and so I wonder: what is behind
all those tears around Graduation? Let me suggest a few reasons why I think parents
and family shed tears at Graduations:
& JOY: For seeing a beloved child achieve something remarkable. Whether its the
student barely scraping by, or the one at the top of the class, getting a diploma tells
everyone of their hard work and diligence.
Because graduation usually means a child is leaving home. Sure, they may stay for a bit,
but there will be distant colleges to attend and jobs to start. Tears mean an empty
bedroom and a new stillness in the house.
Because leaving home means the apron strings are severed, and parenting moves
from hands-on to hands-letting- go. We will no longer be sure where they are, or when theyll
be coming through the back door. They move out into the world, and the world
can be a scary place.
Because of all those years of sacrifice, hard work, tough love, and sleepless nights are
coming to an end. Raising kids into young adults is a serious job, and some of us are
relieved to have gotten through it alive!
Deep down there is a belief that in spite of all our fears and loss, our child will never
walk alone. There is a God who seeks to bless and guide them, even through the darkest of
so for now you release them, and shed some tears, knowing that your tears may cease, but
your prayers for them never will.
wife and I have raised 5 into adulthood, and our prayers are with you. May your tears flow
freely, and may God bless you and your Graduate.