Monday, January 05, 2015

Of College Applications And Samaritan Women

One of my former students came by to see me shortly before we started Christmas break. He is from Thailand and has a last name with fourteen letters which I never could correctly pronounce.  He had a young lady with him, also Thai, and it was obvious that they have a mutual admiration-thing going on. I had not seen or heard from him in the four years since graduation. but I mention him in class as an example and a good one at that. When he was a sophomore, I wrote one of these blogs about him. You see, one day in class, I mentioned that more students would come to our voluntary test day Bible reviews if someone would bring donuts. For the rest of the year, he did- Shipley's if you know Houston- and the attendance went up and the grades went up. You have to love a kid like that!

But the purpose of his visit was not donuts or an introduction to the significant other. He needed a favor. He wanted a letter of recommendation and some advice. He's been studying at a local community college since he left WCS but he wants to transfer to a non-denominational Christian university which I have heard of but know little about. A few days after his visit, he followed up with an e-mail. Here is an excerpt:
As I mention to you about me not being a Christian, but interest in going into a Christian school and you had told me not to worry about it. I would like to not worry about it to, but I'm not sure how the university will treat me since I'm not Christian and how life would be like, because I never been into real university before. I would hope that by going into Christian university can help me to become better person no matter what my religion or believe are.
Several things about his thoughts struck me. One was that he realized that being in a institution ostensibly based on the teachings of Jesus would benefit him in life. I hope he picked that up in our school and especially in my class. But it also bothered me that he was concerned he might not be accepted as he is not a believer. I tried to tell him both in our conversation when he visited and in my e-mail reply that he is exactly the kind of person the college would want to enroll, if indeed the school is following the teachings of Christ. But that's easy for me to say. The Samaritan woman at Jacob's Well in Sychar was surprised, maybe fearful, when Jesus spoke to her in John 4. And yet, when reassured of His kindness, she found a friend.......and a Savior! How can we act any differently towards those who likewise need the Messiah, as that unnamed lady and my hard-to-pronounce named pupil? That, to me, would be the worst kind of prejudice of which I could be guilty. Forgive me, Lord, when I forget.

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