Monday Mission, February 3, 2014

The student, attired in a Samford shirt, was waiting in a local office to see an orthopedist. The remainder of the story, related in the free-flowing-I’m-telling-this-in-the-moment style of an email narrative, is reproduced below:

“A woman looks at me and tells me she likes my shirt (it is a Samford shirt) and I tell her thank you as she continues to ask me if I go to Samford and what my name is and where I'm from. I tell her my name and that I'm a nursing major and currently a sophomore from Roswell, GA. She then proceeds to tell me her name is Mary Hodges, formally Mary Shirley, and she was born in Valdosta, GA and how she moved to AL when she was 5 years old and claims her home state as Alabama. She shares that she is a Samford graduate but went to Samford when it was Howard College during WWII. She continued to share with me all of her experiences at Howard and how Howard is where she met her husband, Andrew Hodges, which is who the Divinity school chapel is named after. After she shared that I jumped into say how sweet that they are a Samford couple (which a lot of girls now a days want to say that they met their husband at Samford and got married in Reid Chapel and the rest is history!) to which she laughed a little and said yes and continued to share that Samford has great potential for the future and I shared how amazing it must be for her to see all that Samford has become and will become in the future. She also shared about which buildings and which pictures are around on campus that her husband is in—the one she shared was the one where he is in the picture that was taken when they broke ground for the move to Samford's current location. The history geek inside me was eating up every single word and story that she shared while the other half of me thought to myself you know if I hadn't been here today and if my foot still wasn't janky, I would've never met Mrs. Hodges and heard her Samford story. As her name was called she looked at me and by name said how great and nice it was to meet me and for me to look out for her on campus and to tell her hello when I do see.  And for those of y'all who know me I definitely will be on the lookout for sweet Mrs. Hodges to say hi and give her a hug :)”

Can’t you see the generations coming together in this piece? I am specifically including this story today because the central character, Mary Louise Hodges, had surgery last week. She’s doing well, but she would appreciate your prayers today, I am sure. She is a gem.

(For those not in the know, “janky” in this context would best be characterized as “less than optimum.”)

The world is better because of Mary Louise Hodges and the anonymous young lady who chronicled this encounter.

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ABOUT SAMFORD UNIVERSITY -- Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 3rd among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,509 students from 45 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.