Today I'm going to take a break from blathering on about myself and my job to brag about my husband Bob. I'm not one who normally likes to brag about things, but he's definitely worth a temporary break in my reticence. On Friday, he graduated from one of the most prestigious seminaries in the world, one historically famous for its association with world-renowned religious scholars (this should give you the hint that I'm not talking about Bob Jones University here). However, not only did he graduate, he also received the highest award granted to students graduating with a Masters of Divinity degree. It's a fellowship that will allow him to travel anywhere in the next year to either study or teach in his field. Also, we discovered that at a place where students either pass, fail, or receive distinctions in their courses, he was the student who graduated with the highest number of distinctions. He jokingly said to one of the faculty members after the commencement ceremony, "Well, I guess I should just die right now," to which she replied, "You're right. In this field, it isn't going to get much better than this."
All this is worth being very proud of, and I am (although, it's sort of silly, because it isn't as if I had anything to do with it. He would have earned all these accolades whether I'd been here or not). However, what I am most proud of is how many of his professors (remember, these are people I "worship," scholars we've read about for years, many whose writing has changed my life, people I'm still amazed I've been lucky enough to have met) have described him not only as a brilliant student but also as being so very kind. That's what makes me proud -- that I somehow managed to luck out and marry a man so many people describe as "kind." And, it's true. One of the things that still amazes me about Bob, after ten years of marriage, is that I've rarely met anyone in my life who is so warm and affectionate towards others, so willing to focus on their good and not their bad.
Bob entered seminary with the notion that he wanted to help change the perception of what most intellectuals in this country have come to think of when they read or hear the word "Christian," a word that has been used and abused by politicians and many others in recent times (actually, it hasn't just been in recent times, but my point is better made by pretending it has been). He also saw faith as a way to pursue his true passion, which is, as he articulates it now, "care for all of God's creation, not just human beings," that passion being the environment, as well as other animals. We're not sure what his next move will be -- many at the seminary would like him to get his Ph.D.; others say the ministry desperately needs pastors like him; creating his own environmental movement, pulling together people of all faiths through that faith, would be a dream come true for him. At this point, it doesn't even really matter, though. I'm sure his passion and his kind heart will lead him to success no matter what he chooses.