Jason Armstrong, #LourdesStrong Alumnus
Lourdes University Graduate 2016
Master of Arts in Theology
Love God and love your neighbor. It is a simple command but one that can be hard to find in its true form in the world in which we live. It may be hard to find, but, when one witnesses an individual or a group of people that live those commands, there is an undeniable strength in love that is revealed. Through this kind of true sacrificial love, lives are changed, and possibly saved. Through this kind of love, people and organizations define themselves and reveal clearly to others the foundation on which they are built. This kind of love was shown to my son by a student and the leadership and staff of Lourdes University in the Fall of 2016.
My son and I were both students at Lourdes University in the fall of 2016. He was starting his second semester at Lourdes and I was in my last semester finishing my Masters of Theology degree. My son, who suffers from severe anxiety, had an anxiety attack early in the semester while at school. Knowing his anxiety level was rising to an extreme level, he went to the Welcome Desk to ask for help. The student who was working at the desk noticed the difficulty he was having and asked Dr. Geoffrey Grubb, Provost, for help. Dr. Grubb stopped and talked to my son and, noticing he needed help, walked him across the campus to the Sophia Center at Lourdes where he could get the help he needed.
I knew Dr. Grubb because I had him as an instructor in the Theology graduate program at Lourdes earlier in my course work but he was not aware that the student he had helped that day was my son. Later that day, I went to his office and informed him that the young man he had helped was, in fact, my son. From his reaction of caring and love as we spoke, there was no doubt of Dr. Grubb’s genuine love for his neighbor and I know, from having him in class, of his genuine love for God. In fact, at the end of our conversation, we prayed together for my son’s healing and well-being in his office. It was a moment of one person truly loving others that I will not forget and for which I am grateful.
Why is #LourdesStrong? First, and foremost, it is because of the people at Lourdes University who love God and others. It is because of the young woman at the Welcome Desk, because of leaders like Dr. Grubb, because of the people who work at the Sophia Center. It is because an organization can only be as strong as its base, and when the students and leadership live lives as witness to the two greatest commandments, proclaimed by Jesus, to love God and love your neighbor, their foundation and true strength are revealed.