Confront or Carefront?
Recently I was honored to share memories at the establishment of the Dr. A.J. and Bertha Quinn Scholarship at Howard Payne University. Dr. Quinn was my favorite HPU Professor. By my Junior year, I had already had a couple of classes with him and was taking another class. I was having a great time in college, not letting the academic part interfere with the social part, when Dr. Quinn called me to his office and asked me a direction-changing question: “I was wondering when you were going to get serious about the preparation for God’s call on your life?” I don’t remember how I responded to this, but I do remember that I went back to my dorm room and stared at the wall for a long time. I felt that I had been confronted. I was both angry and thankful, but the verse that came to my mind was when Peter described God by saying, “He cares for you” (I Peter 5:7), and I kept thinking that the reason I was confronted was that my Professor cared for me. A few years later I came across a book entitled, “Caring Enough to Confront,” in which the author coined the term “carefronting.” It was then that I realized what Dr. Quinn was doing. First, by caring for me, he had earned the right to confront me, then he confronted me with great care. It was a pivotal experience in my ministerial preparation. I shall forever be thankful for a professor who cared enough to confront, and I continue to spend an amazing amount of time trying to earn the right to “carefront” others when the need is present.