Making a Meaningful Difference in Students’ Lives, Often without Even Knowing about It

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Subject: Hey Rev!; Sent By: The Student Shall Remain Anonymous; On:Mar 03/18/16 2:05 PM; To: Timothy Lent tlent@mail.immaculata.edu

The following email to me was unsolicited:

Rev! I hope that you’re doing well! I haven’t seen you around campus lately, so I just wanted to check in and make sure you’re still alive. I’m graduating in May, and I suppose with that, I’ve come to reflect on my past years at IU. I was thinking of what classes and information that I would take with me in my future endeavors, and I think the class that had the most impact on me was your Christian Ethics class. I may not be a Theology major or minor, but I feel that I learned the most applicable and life-changing material in your class. Truthfully, I think I learned more from who you are as a person than the information that was taught.

I wanted to thank you for caring for your students. This may seem mundane, but the way that you genuinely cared for us made a huge impact on my life. I’ll always remember when you would tell us that “It’s okay to not be okay”. There is so much truth in that statement! For you to simply ask how we as your students were doing, made the class that much more of an impact for me.

I’m actually interning at a high school for my senior internship, and I’m loving it. As I learn more about my students, I keep thinking of all that I learned in your class. I remember your transparency with your students, and your honesty about the struggles you’ve gone through in your life. To know that a professor, a Reverend, and a PhD can be that authentic with his students shows a lot about who you are. I think if nothing else, God has given you the gift of transparency-not everyone can be honest, open, and relate to so many. I hope that as I move forward in my education and my life, I can be as caring as you were for us!

I don’t know where you’re at in life, Rev- if you’re even at IU anymore, but I hope that wherever you are, God is using you to change the lives of others. If I’ve learned anything in working in this school, it’s that sometimes we go into our vocation and try to save everyone. That doesn’t always happen-and it’s easy to focus on that, but if we impact the life of ONE person we interact with-we have truly won. I know you’ve impacted my life and the lives of others-and I hope you keep on doing that!

I hope you keep on keeping on, Rev! In the words of Viktor Frankl, “What is to give light must endure burning”. I hope you’re not “burning” too much, but I know you’ve given light to others!

——-

Immaculata University | 2016 IU

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