More than just a shave

From the desk of Shawn Rhoads, Director of Residence Life & Director of Campus Ministry:

As Director of Residence Life I never know what a day might hold. With eighty students from twenty one countries, in four different grades, and a variety of upbringings, anything is possible.

Sometimes the challenges can be difficult. And sometimes, like this morning, less challenging.

One of our students had never shaved before, as the whiskers on his chin testified. He showed up at my office, shaving cream and razor in hand.

It wasn’t a surprise because the administrative assistant from Founders Hall had already called, running up the I-don’t-know-how-to-show-a-boy-how-to-shave flag. Off we go to the restroom, splash on the warm water and lather up. In a couple of minutes, he walked out slick chinned with a new guy-skill under his belt.

I know it seems like a small thing, but for me it was rather monumental. Teaching a boy to tie a tie for the first time, how to deliver a proper handshake, and how to shave are all steps from boyhood to manhood -small steps but significant nonetheless.

As I was telling him how to hold the razor and which way to drag it across his jawline I thought about my own son, and how I would be doing this same lesson with him soon. This was a golden moment, and I happened to be the one who had the honor of walking this young man through this process, one that he would now do for the rest of his days. The point is, whether it’s instructing our students in Algebra or Aristotle, Voltaire or volleyball, chivalry or shaving, they are ours, for nine months out of the year.

They grow up on our watch. They develop into the men and women God has wired them to be under our tutelage. I can’t think of a more fulfilling way to spend one’s life than being a shepherd and guide to young people, placed here providentially by the hand of God.