I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8 The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever. Psalm 121; NASB
Monday, May 8, 2017. It was one of the most memorable and exciting days of my life. Some of my closest family and friends were there with me celebrating that day. I was graduating from seminary. I got up early just to spend some time alone with God. I just wanted to thank and praise God for being with me and bringing me through the last three years of school. It had been tough. There was so many times during that three years when I was like the psalmist, I could only lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where all my help would come, from the Lord. (v. 1-2) God was there when I didn’t understand what was going on in some of my classes. During those times, I had to pray that God would give me the wisdom and understanding I needed. There were times when my body would give out on me because of fatigue. During those times, I had to pray that God would give me the strength to make it in class, but even safe travels to and from class. (v. 7, 8) There were times when people who I thought were my friends betrayed me. During those times, God carried me by not allowing my foot to slip and protected me from all evil. (v. 3, 5, 7)
Some of those family and friends and even church members who came to this momentous event had supported me through those three years. One person was missing physically, my mother. This would be the first time that she would physically miss one of my graduations. New orientation. Our lives had gone from the disorientation of my mother’s stroke and the physical impact on her body into a new orientation where the relationship was different, but still dependent. We had developed a pattern during the time we spent together over those three years. I would come and see her at least two weekends per month, sometimes three or every weekend. After greeting each other and catching up on each other’s lives, we would read. My mom would read and study her Bible and work on word search puzzles. I would read, study or write for my classes. My sister would try and control us both with her suggestions. We would watch television and talk. She would tell us we had to leave before it got too dark because of the dark country roads.
Because my mom was not going to be at my graduation, I was somewhat disoriented. The day was beautiful. I was so ecstatic to be graduating, but sad also. I had met so many wonderful people. Even though I was glad I had completed the hard and sometimes grueling work, I would miss the academic environment. When my name was called to receive my diploma, the dean smiled at me, and my family and friends who came yelled for me.
I went to see my mom on May 13, 2017. I was dressed in my cap, gown, and stole. I had my diploma with me. Some of the staff members looked at me and cheered. Some of the residents of the nursing home looked at me and smiled. But, the look on my mother’s face when she saw me was priceless. The beautiful smile on her face. The glow and tears in her eyes. That day I realized that honoring your mother and father could mean something as simple as this act. I showed her my diploma. She read it aloud. (I had only looked at my diploma to make sure my name was spelled correctly.) It was the most beautiful sound I had heard. I wanted to cry as my mother read aloud:
Candler School of Theology
To all persons to whom these presents shall come, Greeting
Be it known that
Constance Manigo Daise
having satisfied all the requirements for the degree of
Master of Divinity
is accordingly admitted by the faculty to that degree with all the
honors, rights, and privileges thereunto appertaining here and elsewhere.
In testimony whereof the seal of the University and the signatures of the
President and the Dean of the School are hereunto affixed, under authority
granted by the Trustees of the University at Atlanta, Georgia,
this eighth day of May, A.D. 2017, in the one hundred eighty-first year
since the founding of the institution.
My mother had been with me at my graduation in spirit if not by her physical presence. One of the nursing assistants was so inspired by this simple act of love that she went back to school. Thank you Lord. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen. (Psalm 41:13)
 New American Standard Bible, from biblegateway.com